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Teacher Quality Versus Registration

Teacher Quality Versus Registration

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today that reports indicating 25 percent of New Zealand schools have unregistered teachers in their classrooms - and that two schools have unregistered principals - raises the question of whether registration should be a necessary requirement for teachers.

"The fact that a teacher is registered with the Teachers' Council does not ensure the quality of that teacher," Miss Coddington said.

"It is imperative that teachers are equipped with knowledge of the subjects they are to teach. Whether that means a computer programmer with practical experience in that field - but with no formal teacher training - is preferred to someone else who has spent three years at Teachers' College, then so be it.

"Having to attend Teacher's College can be a disincentive for potential teachers - many of whom have the qualifications or experience, but are put off by the prospect of a further three years' study. By insisting that teachers are registered, the education sector is missing out on people with great energy and high intellectual ability.

"An obsession with irrelevant political correctness, theory-driven programmes - rather than practice-driven - and an outdated teaching culture are also factors which combine to make Teacher Training and unattractive option. As a result, we have many second-rate teaching graduates, who become registered teachers, instructing our children.

"While ACT understands the importance of vetting teachers - and advocates police checks to ensure a safe learning environment for children - the current register is providing parents with a false impression that their children are receiving a high-quality education.

"At the end of the day, the focus must shift from ensuring that all teachers are registered. The priority is to attract quality men and women into the profession, to make a real difference in the lives of young New Zealanders - whose education should be the focus, not the wishes of the Teachers' Council," Miss Coddington said.

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