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Mallard Way Off Target

Mallard Way Off Target

The Government's plan to offer cash bonuses for young secondary school teachers to remain in their positions for two years shows that Education Minister Trevor Mallard is clearly missing the point when it comes to the country's drastic teacher shortage, ACT New Zealand Associate Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The Minister seems to think quantity and quality are one and the same. Why else would he offer $1,500 - a paltry sum in itself - to lure teachers into positions? The emphasis should be on quality - our young people deserve better than teachers recruited under a `bums on seats' mentality," said Ms Coddington.

"Has Mr Mallard even asked graduates whether a $1,500 payment towards their student loan is enough to keep them at home? Research, conducted by his own ministry, shows that many students plan to leave the country as soon as they receive their qualification.

"Mr Mallard's cash incentive cannot hope to compete with the sums these young people will earn overseas. The Minister is trying to bribe young teachers - while alienating older, more experienced teachers who are seemingly ineligible for such cash incentives.

"Mr Mallard needs to address the real reasons why teachers are leaving the country - the one size fits all, Nanny State knows best, anti-competitive delivery of education, which does not allow good teachers to be paid top salaries like other professionals," said Ms Coddington.

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