Teaching profession steps up – says no to EDUCANZ
Hundreds of passionate secondary teachers will make time this month to ensure the government hears the voice of the profession.
Starting today submissions will be heard against the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) after teachers at paid union meetings (PUMs) throughout the country gave it a resounding no.
Not only did submissions against the bill - which threatens to undermine the teaching profession - pour in after the PUMs but the majority of teachers chose to present theirs to the Education and Science select committee in person.
PPTA president Angela Roberts, who will be presenting the association’s own submission in Wellington this morning said the response showed how deeply concerned members were about their profession.
“Those that can’t attend a hearing in person will be calling in from their schools or taking part in video conferences,” she said.
The bill dismantles the New Zealand Teachers Council and replaces it with a new body – the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ).
EDUCANZ has a range of overly ambitious functions that stray into territory outside the domain of a registration body.
PPTA was supportive of the bill’s proposals to strengthen the discipline and competence functions of the council but felt these were being threatened by its more wide-ranging plans, Roberts said.
“The big risk is that they will lose the basic functions of the council. The council needs to stick to the important work it is already doing and not be subjected to this political agenda.
“Getting this right is fundamental to the status of the profession and to keeping students safe,” she said.
EDUCANZ will be made up entirely of appointments by the minister of education, meaning there could potentially be no practising teachers on the council, Roberts said.
“The profession is clearly saying this is not acceptable.”
The select committee would have to propose significant changes to the legislation for it to be accepted by teachers and Roberts hoped it would do more than pay lip service to the large number of professionals who had gone to the trouble of expressing their concerns.