I’m not sure the government realised how incensed people would be about planned changes to school funding in this last budget. I am guessing government thought there would be a little ooohing and ahhhing and muttering, then it would all die down. In reality, it seems the cuts have been the final straw for many, and pressure is mounting for them to reverse them.
- About 1100 teaching positions will be lost at the start of the next school year.
- Class sizes will increase.
- It’s probable that some technology classes will cease altogether.
The mainstream media are keeping up the pressure too, with a number of articles in The NZ Herald, on the news and so on questioning the logic of the proposals. These interviews on Breakfast this morning with NZEI president and two head teachers are worth watching and explain the overall issues well.
Why are people angry? Because it seems that our education system – one that is well respected throughout the world – is being repeatedly undermined whilst at the same time plans to privatise parts of the public education system are being shoe horned in.
And class sizes is not the only issue facing our schools right now. At the same time as this is happening, we have the government proposing to or in the process of :
- closing high schools and replacing then with privately-run charter schools
- closing special schools that cater for those in most need
- bailing out private schools with $3 million of taxpayer money
- bringing in standardised tests despite much of the world giving up on them as a failed exercise
- making the curriculum more and more prescriptive in public schools whilst at the same time allowing charter (and private) schools to set their own curricula
- make those who have done a three year Bachelor of Education degree do a further postgraduate course in order to become qualified (whilst at the same time allowing a 6-week postgraduate teacher-training course for those with a degree including a degree that has nothing to do with education) – source
- bring in performance pay for teachers without any explanation for how it will be judged or managed.
- and a whole lot more.
It’s just bizarre! It’s often wildly contradictory. And it’s not even based on sound research.
So why all these changes? Who benefits from these changes? Students? Parents? Teachers? Support staff?
What do you think?