This week and early next week sees the students of New Zealand going back to school. Their teachers are a pretty resilient bunch of people, but they must be wondering where things are heading in this very important sector of our nation.
We have the continuing debacle of the NovaPay system of paying teachers and support workers continually missing the mark. Many principals had their holidays badly interrupted as a result and teachers were left on a knife edge, wondering if they were going to be paid correctly, if at all.
We also have the continuing saga of the Charter Schools initiative. Despite a good deal of research; both here and overseas that points to a less than satisfactory outcome, the Government is hell-bent on pushing the first of the Charter Schools onto us. Many teachers, other groups and individuals are making submissions to the Select Committee, but that is not going to change this Government’s mind. It is locked into an agreement with its coalition partner, Act, and come what may, that is what is driving this move.
Our students have probably not taken much interest in the debate; one that will affect how our precious resources are carved up and therefore the students, and everything will carry on as planned. We need to ask ourselves as a nation---‘is it good enough that in the face of such determined opposition, that we have a Government that sees only one pathway? They are developing a suspicious ‘wobble’ that has all the hallmarks of a Government that is not listening to the people. By the time they are thrown out, the damage will be done and a huge amount of money will have been wasted---all in the name of ‘holding on to political power,’ no matter what the cost is to New Zealand as a whole-----short term gain, long term damage.
So students, do your thing and do your utmost to gain your qualifications. Maybe you won’t be tainted by the stupidity of a ‘non-hearing’ Government, and maybe when it comes to your turn to make the decisions, you may do it differently.