It’s interesting that the Ministry of Education document Directions for Educational Renewal for greater Christchurch starts with the assertion that they “have taken on board the knowledge and expertise of education leaders, teachers, young people, business leaders, stakeholders, and Ngai Tahu, ” If the consultation had truly been inclusive of those groups, would there be such an outcry after last week’s announcements? Wouldn’t people feel they had been given fair chance to have a say, and knew what the options were? Rather, the over-riding feeling coming out of Canterbury is one of people having something done to them rather than in consultation with them.
The extensive consultation seems to have elicited just 229 items of written feedback (see page 7 of document). One can only ponder how many they would get if they tried that process again right now… I’m thinking ten-fold and more. This blog and Facebook page has garnered about that many comments in the past 3 days, which tells me the Ministry didn’t exactly put the word out there to the community.
The feedback section mentions a number of ‘themes’ that ran through the submissions received (without quoting a single one, I note). It cites that people wish to have a wide variety of schooling options, learning hubs, shared facilities and the like. It also says that “Running through much of the feedback was an appeal to Government to consider the unparalleled situation” and that some feedback called for the retention of the entire education system until things in the region settle down. The feedback concludes that overall people regarded the earthquakes as an opportunity to “try some new things“.
The document is well worth a read. I will resist from précising the whole document here, suffice it to say the many mentions that”a diverse range of educational options is wanted leads me to wonder whether that is really just the government’s way of priming people for their Charter School agenda and other unpopular policies.
Is Christchurch really being given a fair say in how it moves forward? What do you think?
Read the full report here: http://shapingeducation.minedu.govt.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/DraftEducationRenewalWeb.pdf
This is a summary, from a presentation – http://shapingeducation.minedu.govt.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/FutureDirectionsSelfFacilitationPres.pdf