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Mallard's Inattention Causes Teacher Shortage

Mallard's Inattention Causes Teacher Shortage Crisis

Friday 25 Jan 2002 Donna Awatere Huata Press Releases -- Education

The teacher shortage crisis is a result of Education Minister Trevor Mallard not paying attention to his portfolio, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"Jumps in school rolls don't just happen. We've known about this `population blip' for the past five years. Mr Mallard has known since he became Minister. A good education minister would plan for these changes instead of sticking his head in the sand.

"Mr Mallard denies there is a crisis, yet he's not coming clean with what's really going on. He talks about teacher vacancies being `manageable' and `comparable to other years', yet hasn't produced an iota of evidence that either is the case. Mr Mallard's flimsy excuses and spin don't change the fact that schools are starting the year short of teachers.

"Mr Mallard only even acknowledged that there is a problem because Parliamentary Questions I asked at the end of last year highlighted the imminent shortage.

"Kids are set to receive below-standard teaching.

"Either Mr Mallard is trying to save money by skimping on sorely-needed teachers, or he has bungled staffing projections. In either case, the only solution is for Mr Mallard to fill the gaps as soon as possible - these kids aren't going to go away," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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