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Mangere students get the skills edge

Mangere students get the skills edge of sharper education tools

Most of Mangere electorate's 14448 school students are benefiting from a range of government initiatives in its key education priorities of literacy, numeracy and information communication technology, MP Taito Phillip Field said today.

"We need an education system that readily equips New Zealanders with 21st century skills and reduces the level of under-achievement experienced by some groups. These are this government's two top education priorities," Taito Phillip Field said.

"Improving the quality of teaching is integral in helping lift students' achievement.

"Recently released research for the Ministry of Education focuses on what makes a difference to student outcomes - and the greatest influence within the education system is the quality of teaching practices."

Literacy "Giving kids the ability to read and write is a key focus for the government. More than ever before, getting the foundations right is the essential key to success in life - in further education and in the workplace," Taito Phillip Field said.

Some 21 schools in Mangere have taken up the challenge by joining the Primary Literacy Leadership programme. This develops the literacy knowledge and skills of principals and literacy leaders so they can improve the literacy programmes for years 1-8 in their schools.

"Budget 2003 recently injected $15 million over four years to boost literacy in schools, bringing investments in improving literacy and numeracy to $25 million over four years," Taito Phillip Field said.

Under this initiative, schools will be supported by 15 newly appointed Literacy Development Officers to ensure their literacy programmes are delivering the best results possible for the entire class.

Schools in Mangere are also taking up AsTTle (Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning), an award-winning CD-ROM for teaching literacy and numeracy to years 5-7. Around 90 per cent of schools nation-wide have requested copies of the resource since it became available earlier this year.

The Reading Writing Maths proposals pool is a discretionary fund that schools can apply for to support extra programmes in literacy and numeracy. The programme already includes Mangere Bridge, Southern Cross Early Childhood Primary Link, and Mangere Central.

Numeracy The government is also funding specific numeracy projects in seven Mangere electorate schools.

Three research reports on professional development numeracy projects for teachers of years 0-10 showed considerable improvements in students' math skills. Research on the Early Numeracy Programme showed that after just one year at school, 80% could count to solve addition and subtraction problems.

The projects are now being extended to thousands more primary and intermediate teachers and students.

"A key government priority for education in the future will be on improving the quality of teaching to help lift students' achievement. Now we have a wide range of teacher professional development projects in place. Teachers say these give them more skills and enthusiasm in maths. This can only be a good thing for the students," Taito Phillip Field said.

Information & Communication Technology "ICT is an incredible tool for learning and ICT skills are essential for work and for life in the modern world, which is why this government wants to develop information technology and infrastructure so students and teachers can take advantage of the vast online opportunities that exist," Taito Phillip Field said.

A number of ICT initiatives are in place in Mangere electorate. (Separate release will follow)

Websites for more details on research reports: www.minedu.govt.nz www.tki.org.nz/e/maths/

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