Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Education is the Circuit-Breaker

“Education is the Circuit-Breaker”

A response to Budget 2016

Roana Bennett, General Manager of Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Trust said “I’m pleased to see the focus on early childhood, vulnerable families and pathways for young people into employment and apprenticeships. These are flash-points for our country’s social and economic progress. So I agree with the budget allocations at a high level. The test will be how effectively government can deploy the allocation at the community level.

“The statistical evidence is clear that learners that come from the most vulnerable homes are the least the likely to achieve academically. But statistical evidence is also clear that education is the circuit breaker for inter-generational unemployment and poverty.

“The budget has a raft of educational, employment and social initiatives targeting vulnerable families such as increasing the number of teacher aides, investing in New Zealand’s children and families, and whanau ora. The key is to ensure that the effort that goes into these families are focussed on educational outcomes. Education is not well articulated as a desired outcome in social policy and New Zealand is being let down because if it.

“Social needs, health issues, inadequate housing, unemployment within the family – these are all barriers to learners engaging in education. When you flip the funding model around and education becomes the focus, change happens. Here at that the Taumata we know from experience that families will engage and work hard to improve their lives when the focus is their child’s education. Social services that focus on problems and issues are out-of-date and those services will NOT achieve sustainable results.

“I’m very pleased to see stronger support for trade training and apprenticeships. A trade is a pathway to a fulfilling sustainable career. Many of our Maori men now in their fifties and sixties went through trades apprenticeships as young adults and are now supporting three or four generations of whanau. However a word of caution. Trade training and apprenticeships should not be confused with initiatives for vulnerable or at risk learners. That’s a separate kaupapa altogether. To be successful at a trade or in an apprenticeship you need to have a good solid grounding in literacy and numeracy and well-established learning and work habits. We need our best and brightest to aim towards apprenticeships. This is a point the policy makers seem to miss.

“What else would I like to have seen in the Budget? First, incentives for employers to take on apprentices – this would ensure buy-in by employers and lead to increased apprenticeship opportunities for rangatahi. And second, all youth services moved under the Ministry of Education to ensure that educational outcomes is the number one focus.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>