Government Can’t Afford To Shut Door On The Chalkface
The largest education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says it is incomprehensible that parliament’s education and select committee has voted to deny education sector groups an opportunity to have some input on critical legislation to introduce national standards for literacy and numeracy.
The National government appears poised to push through the Education (National Standards) Amendment Bill under urgency, without the sector knowing what the detail of the legislation is, and what effect it will have on teaching and learning.
NZEI has a strong history of working closely with government, the Education Ministry and other sector group to ensure that all New Zealand children have the very best learning opportunities that the system can provide.
In the run up to the election, the National Party campaigned on a platform of collaboration and inclusiveness, yet at this early stage it appears to have slammed the door on those at the chalkface.
NZEI President Frances Nelson says “successful implementation of any new system relies on the commitment of the teaching profession. Teachers will be very willing to implement a process that is educationally sound, but a system of national standards and testing that doesn’t assist in the teaching process, is fraught. It has the potential to take the focus away individual children’s learning needs and move it to meeting the requirements of the standards.”
NZEI believes transparency and openness is critical to ensure that any decisions around teaching and learning are educationally sound and will lead to increased student achievement.
“By shutting the door, the government is ignoring a golden opportunity to utilise the skills and expertise of the sector and forge positive relationships with the very people it will be asking to make its policies work,” says Ms Nelson.