I received an email from the NZEI this afternoon urging me to make a submission to the Education Select Committee before submissions on the Education Amendment Bill No. 2 close at the end of the month.
Who am I to resist my urges?
Here it is…
I am making a submission to express my complete opposition to the changes proposed by the Education Amendment Bill No. 2.
I find the changes proposed by the minister to be undermining of the teaching profession in a variety of ways.
Firstly, the members of EDUCANZ will be wholly appointed by the minister. This removes the current democratic structure of the Teachers’ Council as a body elected by the profession. It also opens the body to interference from a minister and a government who have shown they have little regard for teaching as a profession – although I expect them to dispute this assertion.
Secondly, the government is continually expressing the need for high quality teaching being delivered by all members of the profession, yet this bill will make it easier for unqualified and unregistered people to be in charge of educating children. You must have a fully qualified, fully registered profession stocked with high quality practitioners, otherwise the education of New Zealand children is going to suffer.
Thirdly, this policy, among many others being forced onto the education community by the present government, has been done so with very little real consultation with the profession. Teachers are being marginalised by this policy as the government continues in its efforts to destabilise and restructure the profession to meet its ideological privatisation agenda. Continuing to impose policies on a profession while only offering scant consultation opportunities is not going to lead to, what the minister likes to refer to as, “improved outcomes for priority learners.”
Lastly, students are only at school for 6 hours a day. The only way to improve student achievement outcomes is by focusing on the influences the 18 hours a day a child spends outside school. Ignoring the influence of environmental factors on a child’s learning is at best blinkered ignorance and at worst willful arrogance.
Dealing with this should be the priority of this government, not the continued scapegoating of teachers for the influences on a child’s learning that are totally outside their control.
I hope it makes sense. I’ve been awake since 4.30am when I rolled over on the arm my ‘flu’ inoculation was jabbed into.