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Mallard fails Blind and Vision Impaired Children

Wednesday 3 July

Minister of Education The Right Hon T Mallard and Associate Minister of Education (Special Education Portfolio) Hon Lianne Dialziel are FAILING Blind and Vision Impaired Students by allowing the present staffing shortage of Resource Teachers of Vision to continue.


The current average roll for an RTV 1:36 and climbing with up to 3 totally blind students, international recommended norm is 1:20.

Responsibilities of the RTV:

- Totally blind students require 8 - 10 hours per week.

- RTV’s travel to each student at their local school.

- RTV’s co-ordinate a range of specialised services which include - assessment, resource procurement, one to one instruction to students & support to families.

- Provide Specialist Support to teachers and teacher aides.

Current: Staffing levels forcing RTV’s to prioritise students.

How many students are missing out?

Fact: The Vision Education Sector, including parents, have consulted for years with the MoE for improvement for blind & vision impaired students.

Outcome: Total loss of confidence in Government to take seriously its obligations to blind & vision impaired students.

Request: Made by Vision Education Sector during 2001 to MoE for 5 teachers to relieve the immediate crisis situation.

Response: No.

Update since Ministry Response:

- Otago roll 1 RTV to 53 students. Currently no fulltime teacher available, a releif teacher from Auckland is covering Otago when available.

- RTV stress levels high, morale low.

- Students in Northland increasing. Auckland based RTV’s stretched.

PVI require the ministers to immediately establish 5 new positions to alleviate the current RTV crisis.

Lee Parlane



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