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Minister and Ministry chief at odds over education system

29 October 2012

Minister and Ministry chief at odds over NZ’s world class education system

Claims by the new Education Secretary Lesley Longstone that New Zealand does not have a world class education system has put her at odds with Education Minister Hekia Parata’s comments just last Friday, says NZEI National Secretary, Paul Goulter.

On World Teachers Day, Education Minister Hekia Parata released a statement saying that we have an education system that is among the best in the world.

“Why does the Secretary for Education say that we can no longer call ourselves world class when our students continue to outperform most other countries?”

“Is this part of a real agenda to undermine and discredit our public education system in order to bring in radical, experimental and failed overseas policies such as dodgy charter schools using unregistered and unqualified teachers?”

He says the Government’s failure to confront our growing poverty and inequity is the real cause of our underperforming tail.

“Our education system can provide opportunity for all but cannot be a band-aid for growing social and economic inequity.”

Despite this, Mr Goulter says there is evidence that the education system is making progress for vulnerable groups. This is shown through the increase in the number of Maori and Pasifika children getting NCEA qualifications.

“One thing that is certain, however, is that setting up failed overseas policies such as charter schools and allowing unqualified people to teach children will lead to increasing failure and further exacerbate inequity in our system.”


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