So… if you’re wanting an idea about how the teaching profession is going to exist now, look no further than this rubber stamp.
According to news from Radio New Zealand this afternoon, the Education and Science Select Committee have approved changes to the Education Amendment Bill that will allow the Minister of Education to appoint every single member of the new Teachers’ Council.
Just to clarify what this means: Every single member of the board responsible for the registration and disciplining of teachers across New Zealand is going to be appointed by Hekia Parata.
The new body is to be called EduCANZ (see my previous posting on this). It’s a pretty little acronym which flows off the tongue quite nicely – as opposed to the bile that rises in the back of my throat at the thought of the National Party being in complete control of my professional body.
Would the Medical Council let the Health Minister appoint all the members of their governing body? Would the Law Commission welcome the Justice Minister or the Attorney General having full and final say over the make up of that organisation?
These are all professional bodies who have strong ties to government funding. Many billions of our tax dollars are spent on health, education and administration of the law. What’s to stop the (National & ACT mostly) government deciding they want to control those sectors through appointments and such like? I doubt they would be allowed to get away with it, however. Those bodies have strong voices and would never let the government take control of their professional bodies.
ASIDE: I’m not saying we teachers are ‘letting’ the government take charge of our professional body. I made a submission, as did many thousand of others, but they were ignored. When has this government every listened to the education sector about any of its policies?
But then this government has shown in the past how little regard it has for the rule of democracy. Just ask the voters of Canterbury. Want a regional council? Well you can’t have one. We have important work to do.
At present the Teachers’ Council is a partly appointment, partly elected body. When the bill is passed this will be a totally appointed body – a body whose sole aim will be the destruction of the teaching profession (don’t believe me? Have a look at what is happening to professional teaching organisations and unions in the United States). Once you have a subservient profession, then you can mould and manipulate to your heart’s content.
Of course, if National don’t manage to cobble together their various has-beens into a coalition of the desperately willing, then we may not be forced to endure the ignominy of having our profession deconstructed in this way.
Education bill changes approved: RNZ, 15 July, 2014.