Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The hidden agenda

If teachers had a sense of mistrust in the government’s plans for education, they can only have reached even lower levels with the release of ‘papers’ in the last few days. These papers show that the government has had an agenda of cutting frontline teachers since 2009 but the election of 2011 forced them to ‘go underground’ with their plans. They knew that the electorate would punish them at the upcoming 2011 elections if these aims were made public.
It is no surprise that we now learn of these cost cutting proposals and we can only assume that no matter what the public tells them, they are going to go ahead with their plans. We can expect to see larger classes, less resources and more ‘smoke screens’ that will amount to nothing more than taking from one sector of the educational sector and then  tout gains made from such cuts as ‘new spending.’
The Minister of Education is nothing more than a ‘flogging boy.’ She seems at times a little uncomfortable with the announcements and plays with words, all of which have been firmly placed in her mouth by Treasury or other Government ministers. The Government certainly chose well when they made Ms Parata the Minister of ‘do as you’re told’ Education.
It’s going to be a long two years until the next election. Will the public have understood the message by then or will National come up with more platitudes framed as the ‘saviour of education on new Zealand.’ We never learn and the government continues with its plans. It won’t be too long before our excellent schools become nothing more than second rate institutions, forever playing catch-up. If you think the achievement standards for our school leavers are bad now--- well close your eyes--- you won’t like what you see in the future.