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Education a bright spot for NZ children according to UNICEF

12 April 2013

Education the bright spot for NZ children according to UNICEF report

NZEI Te Riu Roa says it is astonishing that the Government is continuing to pursue policies that will damage our public education system despite evidence that New Zealand students perform near the top of the OECD.

The latest Unicef report released this week shows that New Zealand children’s educational achievement is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise very mediocre report card on the state of our children compared to other countries in the OECD.

The report shows that New Zealand 15 year olds rank fourth highest in the world in the PISA tests for reading, maths and science.

Yet, the report shows that New Zealand’s child poverty rate is around the bottom end of the middle group of countries in the OECD.

National President Judith Nowotarski says these results show that overall our curriculum which emphasises individualised learning instead of standardisation has been a big success.

However, she says recent policy changes such as National Standards which risk encouraging teachers to “teach to the test” and charter schools which will be able to employ unqualified people to teach, will inevitably start to undermine our curriculum and the quality of our education.

“This is why teachers and school communities are taking action such as this weekend’s marches and rallies around the country.”

“We need the Government to start to listen to the community and to take note of the evidence that is showing that we have a world-leading education system. We need the government to provide better support to teachers to help struggling students instead of pursuing dangerous policies that will be very damaging to our education system and our children’s future.

“The government is on a pathway that will lead to further inequality in our schools and be especially damaging for those children who are struggling.”

Schools and early childhood centres and their communities are protesting about the Government's damaging education policies around the country tomorrow (Saturday).

ENDS

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