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Canterbury schools deserve support not brickbats

6 September 2012

Canterbury schools deserve support not brickbats

PPTA president Robin Duff is appalled at the lack of compassion shown by education minister Hekia Parata as she continues to berate Christchurch schools about their performance.

In announcing she would be meeting with school leaders to discuss the government’s plans for “educational renewal in the greater Christchurch area” Parata took a swipe at beleaguered Christchurch schools by focusing on “better outcomes for learners” and “improved educational performance” – despite the fact they had done exceptionally well in trying circumstances.

“These schools and their communities have been through unimaginable tragedy and received great NCEA results in spite of this. The minister needs to show some appreciation of the incredible amount of work students, teachers and communities have done to put their schools back together.

“This is just trotting out the party line without considering the human costs or showing any empathy.”

Duff also had concerns about the potential makeup of the three advisory boards that would be set up to provide ongoing input into the renewal process.

“Teachers, parents and school communities must be involved. It is these people that have worked so hard to get education in Christchurch up and running again after the quake,” he said.

The ministry of education’s Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery team said the advisory boards would reflect the situation and preferences of “early childhood services, schools, tertiary providers, the business sector, iwi, pasifika and the wider community” but parents, teachers, students and boards of trustees appeared to have been removed from the equation, Duff said.

“With such a specific focus on institutions expect the plan to be big on privatisation and business opportunity while yet again ignoring the struggles of ordinary Cantabrians.”


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