Minister's OECD Visits Productive
Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education
7 October 2013 Media Statement
Minister's OECD Visits Productive
Education Minister Hekia Parata says that attendance at the two day OECD Ministers Meeting in Istanbul was an excellent opportunity to hear what other education systems are doing to foster relevant skills and improve employability through education. With over 25 education systems represented, it was a rich exchange of information, challenges, and approaches.
"We want to ensure that our young people have the best opportunities through our education system to get the skills they need to be successful, in New Zealand, and as participants in a networked global workplace," says Ms Parata.
"New Zealand is taking all the right steps in the transition from secondary school to employment through working with industry and businesses to identify the skills needed in the labour market, in creating pathways through our qualifications framework that help young people make good choices, in providing early work place experiences, and making tertiary training more accessible as the range of Youth Guarantee initiatives do."
Ms Parata says that both the conference reports and the many bilateral meetings she held with other Ministers affirmed that foundation literacy and numeracy are the best predictors of how well a young person will do whichever pathway they choose.
She chaired two key sessions at the meeting “How can the education system develop relevant skills and competencies?” and “What can education ministries do to achieve a better match between the supply and demand for skills?"
In addition, Ms Parata took the opportunity to profile the International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) being held in Wellington in March 2014, and to personally follow up on invitations to Ministers of Education likely to attend the Summit.
In the week away from New Zealand, Ms Parata also met with France Education Minister, Vincent Peillon, in Paris, and signed a New Zealand - France arrangement to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in education and cultural exchange. The agreement has been in development for over two years. Ms Parata and Mr Peillon also discussed the potential for school to school relationships as part of the 100th anniversary of World War I, from 2014-18.
“We have a long established relationship with France, and it is important to continue to refresh our historic connections, as well as explore new opportunities,” says Ms Parata. French is the most learnt foreign language in our education sector at present.
She also met with high level OECD officials including the Secretary General, Angel Gurria, the Deputy Secretary General for Education, Yves Leterme who as Mayor of Yrpes wanted to maintain the historic relationships his town has with New Zealand, and Barbara Ischinger, Director for Education the co-convenor of the ISTP, who was keen to discuss preparations for the first Southern Hemisphere Summit.
In Brussels, Ms Parata met with Flemish Minister of Education, Pascal Smet, and Marie-Martine Schyns, Wallonian Minister of Education, as well as Member of the European Parliament Education Committee, Hannu Takkula, who will visit New Zealand next year.
“These meetings have been very positive and allowed me to raise further awareness of New Zealand’s education brand, and promote our education system,” says Ms Parata.
“It has also been a timely opportunity to showcase New Zealand as the host country for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession next year in March, and the distinctive Asia-Pacific flavour we will offer,” says Ms Parata.
Summit is jointly convened by the OECD, Education
International, and the host country. It is a unique forum
where the top 29 education systems as measured by the OECD
through PISA (the Programme of International Achievement)
plus the five fastest rising, come together. The Ministers
of Education, together with professional leaders, and union
leaders, meet and discuss common interests.
"I have also invited a number of our neighbouring Pacific Ministers of Education as guests and observers at the Summit," says Ms Parata.
The Summit theme is “"Excellence, equity and inclusiveness – High Quality Teaching for All”.
Earlier this year Ms Parata led the New Zealand
delegation at the Summit in Amsterdam comprising NZEI
President, Judith Nowotarski, PPTA President, Angela
Roberts, NZPF President and Paparoa Street School Principal,
Phil Harding and Manurewa Intermediate Principal, Iain
“We all agreed at the Summit that we would 'work together to raise the status of the NZ teaching profession by nationally recognising, celebrating and sharing quality teaching and leading, people and practices.'
"I look forward to reporting back to our international colleagues at our NZ Summit on exactly what we have collectively achieved.”
For more information on the Summit please go to http://www.istp2014.org/