Government Response To Select Committee Report
Education Minister Trevor Mallard said the Government will consider the Select Committee's recommendations into teaching reading and respond in due course to them.
Trevor Mallard said that in the meantime the Government would continue to put a lot of emphasis in improving the literacy and numeracy levels of all New Zealand school children.
"This Government has placed a major emphasis on literacy. That will continue.
"We've increased the number of specialists teachers working in the field this year from 68 to 121.
"There's been a focus on providing high quality resources, including electronic resources available on Te Kete Ipurangi, the online resource centre.
"Just two weeks ago, I announced the new literacy assessment tools which will help teachers accurately assess what children are learning. They will be available, free of charge, to all primary schools from the beginning of next year.
"There is a lot of exciting work being done in New Zealand classrooms which is getting some good results.
"For example, the recent National Education Monitoring Project report into reading and speaking results shows New Zealand children aged up to 12 are more literate than they were in 1996. It records substantial gains by eight-year-olds both in their ability to decode and comprehend written language, and to read aloud.
"I agree totally with the select committee's view that never before have literary skills been as critical for the inclusion of an individual into the vocational and social activities of our society," Trevor Mallard said.