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‘Forced Retraining’ Removes Parents’ Choice

Mallard's ‘Forced Retraining’ Removes Parents’ Choice

“When Minister Mallard flexes his muscles parental choice is doomed, and early childhood teachers tremble” says Libertarianz Leader Peter Cresswell of Mallard’s plan to force Head Teachers at Early Childhood Centres back to school.

In a move destined to fill the industry with uncertainty and see highly qualified staff leave for better jobs elsewhere, Minister Mallard has announced “forced re-training” of all “persons responsible“ for Early Childhood Centres who have not previously been indoctrinated by a NZ Teachers’ College – regardless of what qualifications they might already hold, or what positions they currently hold. This is likely to affect nearly two thirds of those currently employed in the industry.

This massive retrospective measure will force already qualified and experienced ECE teachers – but who don’t hold a current NZ Diploma of Teaching(ECE) - to fund themselves through at least another year’s full-time study to obtain this document. Many will not bother, and will simply leave the industry. Many teachers formerly planning to return to the industry, will undoubtedly now not bother. Many parents who have already rejected state education for their pre-schoolers, and are instead happily sending their children to Montessori and Steiner schools, will find that staff holding only these alternative qualifications will be taken away for “forced re-training” in a method of education they have already rejected. Many of these staff will not return, and parents will have no choice but to accept a lesser alternative.

“What does Mallard’s forced re-training scheme mean? For many existing ECE Teachers it means a career path barred by at least a year’s further full-time study; for many existing Head Teachers it will mean the end of their career; for parents it will mean a significant diminution of choice. And for the industry as a whole,” says Cresswell, “it will mean a rejection of its current (relative) diversity for the grey blandishments of conformity.”

“It must be fought,” he says.


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