Images from the Marching Against the GERM

As promised yesterday, here are some images from the marching against the current educational reforms being implemented in New Zealand by people who have absolutely no idea about education, teaching, learning or children. Just money.

Crowd Walk Down the Road to Brownlee's Office

Of course, His Gerryness wasn’t in (he was on a plane heading to Thatcher’s funeral), but we stayed anyway. Some teachers had protected themselves well against any stray GERM that had made it to the march. Teachers Protect Themselves Against GERMs

There was a good turnout.

Crowds Gather Outside Brownlee's Office

There were several speakers as well, including the head of the NZEI, Judith Nowotarski and Greens MP Eugenie Sage. Both spoke passionately about the ideal of a free and fair public education system. There was also talk of our world leading curriculum – a curriculum that gives schools and their communities the freedom to teach things that are meaningful to them. Of course, with GERM, we’ll all be brilliant at passing tests and crap at relating to other people.

Ideal candidates for working in accounting or politics.

Judith Nowotarski, President, NZEI

Eugenie Sage, Green MP (and the only MP there)

There were some great signage. I saw one on the news that said “I taught you to read this sign,” showing still that despite the government’s best efforts to demoralise and demonise the profession we still hold on to our sense of humour.

Signage

It was a great day. Our Christchurch protest was a lot smaller than the massive representation of teachers, parents and support staff in Auckland, so there was time for an open-mic session where the floor was opened to anyone there. I was anyone. So I said (as per a previous blog), if those promoting the reform of our public education really believed that their policies were so absolutely fabulous, they would be dipping into their own deep pockets, grabbing a bunch of money from a secret family trust, and investing it in a privately run school. But it’s not about education. We all know that. It’s about the 1% getting their hands on yet more public tax money.

The irony that this 1% work so feverishly to get their hands on a pool of money they’ve also worked so feverishly not to contribute to is not lost on this author.

Thank you to all the parents and supporters of our cause who turned out as well. We are all voters. Our votes rule. Class size changes were halted because the government realised not that it was a stupidly outrageous policy, but that many, many parents voters hated it.

We will win. We. Will. Win.

Mike

PS: Apologies for the quality of the pictures – they were taken on my dumbphone.

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