After what could only be described as a celebration of the profession yesterday, today was definitely a plummet earthwards in comparison.
What annoyed me the most this morning was listening to the last couple of minutes of the Morning Report interview with Chris Hipkins. Our Minister of Education, long thought of as a wonderful juxtaposition to the Hekia years when a new language developed where one could speak for minutes, using a multitude of extraneous vocabularies to, ultimately say nothing, Hipkins has begun to speak in political tongues. Listen for yourself:
Hipkins says we teachers are being offered more and he’s, “acknowledging our frustrations” but ultimately he said he would prefer we accept the offer and not propose more industrial action. I got the feeling he thought we are being unreasonable.
The government has begun to tell us, tell everyone, to be patient. So many different groups are asking for similar settlements. Unfortunately for Labour, a decade or so of National-led education policy based on nothing other than the thoughts of a couple of bloggers and an MP given a free ride in a safe blue seat, now have to clean up the mess.
The clean up will run into the billions. When the “sound fiscal managers” in the National Party wreck something, they really clog all the works with a plethora of spanners. We now have a system where teachers are dropping like flies and young people are seeing this and saying, “bugger that for a game of skittles,” and heading off into less stressful occupations like forestry, accountancy, baking etc.
Addressing the marching teachers outside parliament, Jacinda Adern said that revolution takes time. I suppose the Rome wasn’t built-in a day argument makes sense because it took National a decade to destroy education. However, doing nothing and promising everything isn’t good enough. Perhaps, perhaps if the Labour-led coalition offered us some kind of timeline clearly showing how they intend to fix our profession, then maybe we’d go along with it.
Telling us to be patient and then not giving us a timeframe doesn’t wash.
When the next vote comes to my inbox, I’ll be voting for two more days of action.
Because if they don’t fix education now, then that’s it. We’ll lose it all and end up like those third-world public education systems in England and the United States.
Post Script: Here’s a link to the coverage of the South Canterbury action.