by Catherine Delahunty
Despite the Novopay chaos and the depressing Government commitment to undermining public education, school starts today and can be a great place.
The Green Party is keen to support students and teachers to stay positive and keep working together. We want to see more schools working closely with their communities, more Enviroschools, more early childhood centres on site, more well-being teams working with students. Well-being teams can include social workers, nurses, counsellors and might include implementation of a school food programme. We also want teachers to have access to in-depth professional development on cultural responsiveness, particularly for Maori and Pasifika children.
Many schools are doing fantastic work but the increasing inequality and the forced narrowing of the curriculum to meet National Standards is not helping them. We have a great new curriculum which has flexibility but it is being undermined by the need to meet the new measuring requirements.
Another distraction is the Education Amendment Bill which facilitates for-profit charter schools with unregistered teachers which many teachers and parents submitted on over summer.
The retention of the inept Hekia Parata as Minister of Education is a sign that John Key doesn’t care about the damage she has caused to students, parents and teachers in Christchurch with her disastrous plan to close and merge a large number of Christchurch schools.
Despite all this, the Green Party wishes the very best to all students and teachers returning to schools across the country – schools can be wonderful places where we can all grow together, nurture our passions alongside our friends and thrive.