Christchurch rally to show support for public education
19 February 2012
4pm at the CBS arena, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington
Christchurch school communities and supporters will gather this afternoon to show support for schools that have been earmarked for closure and merger and to tell the Government that it needs to show more respect for the people of Christchurch.
NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski says educators are very concerned about the pace that the Government wants to impose these changes on Christchurch children and educators.
“We are looking at a much more accelerated process than originally planned. Some schools that had originally been told the changes would take place over four years have now been told that they will be merged by the beginning of next year.
“This is very worrying because it appears the timetable has been set more for political purposes than educational ones.
“Frankly, we have serious doubts about whether the Ministry of Education has the capacity to undertake this process within the proposed timeframe. The Christchurch rebuild has been extremely slow and the experience of other school mergers and closures gives us little confidence.
”We believe there is a very real risk that children’s education will once again be put in jeopardy.”
Ms Nowotarski says the past five months have been extremely difficult for the education community in Christchurch.
“This has been a botched and disrespectful process. The Minister will have to go forward in a much more credible and respectful manner than she has shown in the past.”
Today’s rally will take place at 4 pm at the CBS arena and will be followed by a march to the Ministry of Education offices in Princess St”
- Update about the situation and processes for going forward
- Vote of no confidence in the Minister – see below
- March to the Ministry office
Please go to www.transportforchch.govt.nz to the latest update on road conditions and access to the CBS Arena. Parking is available.
What to Bring
- Flags, banners, signs
- Friends and family
- Anything that makes a noise!
We will be seeking support for the following motion:
- No schools or communities should ever have to go through the botched and disrespectful process that happened in Christchurch over the past five months.
- We share the hurt and anger of the schools that have been identified for closure and merger today.
- Given past experience, the Ministry will need to demonstrate it has the capacity to manage the accelerated timeframe for the merger and closure processes announced.
- We have no confidence in the Minister of Education’s record to date. We demand that she commit to engagement going forward that is credible and respectful.
If you’re out of Christchurch:
Please support our Christchurch schools by encouraging your school to wear red and black tomorrow and posting photos to the Listen to Christchurch Facebook page.
NZEI’s top priority continues to be to stand up for teachers, support staff and kids in Christchurch and support all schools to remain safe and stable environments where great teaching and learning can continue.
We are committed to ensuring there are fair processes for all school staff through the next stage of the process. We have been listening to all schools in Christchurch and we will be offering a full range of assistance and support to those schools that have been identified for merger or closure. This includes offering schools assistance as they undertake further engagement with their communities about whether to accept or fight the interim decisions.
Today is a day for Christchurch parents, educators and communities to come together and have a voice on the future of learning in our city, culminating in a family friendly, city-wide event at CBS Arena.
All who care about the future of education in Canterbury welcome!