Children lose as educators’ concerns ignored
21 March 2017
NZEI Te Riu Roa members are dismayed that the Government has ignored the concerns of educators and children, and gone ahead with a controversial education Bill regardless of what's best for young people or public education.
The Education (update) Amendment Bill has been returned from select committee largely unchanged, other than a delay to the start date for online schools, called COOLs. This is despite major concerns form by the Children's Commissioner, and education groups like the NZEI, about the absence of consultation with children, or any focus on their rights.
"If the Government was serious about creating the best public education in the world, then the two key groups to listen to would be teachers, and children,” said NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart.
“Yet children were hardly consulted at all, and education experts’ views were ignored in the drafting of this Bill.
"The Bill seems focussed more on making life easier for bureaucrats and private companies hoping to make money from education, than it is on providing the best public education for our children.
"The Bill includes a number of seriously concerning elements, including online schools for children as young as five, and so called "cohort" entry, which could see four year olds enrolled at school because that might make it easier to manage school rolls.
"Helping private companies to make money by running virtual schools shouldn't be the starting point for an education update. The starting point should be nurturing a love of learning in children, and that comes from passionate well trained educators," Mrs Stuart said.