Our Beehive bulletin
Oh goody – a guessing game has been provided by the clever people who post announcements, speeches and what-have-you on the Beehive website.
It was delivered in the name of Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti – by her press secretary, perhaps? – in the form of a teasing headline.
Learning Support, Curriculum, Attendance – NZPF Moot Speech
NZPF? Which one?
We put the challenge aside while checking out the other news from the Beehive,
- Amelia Setefano and Marina McCartney have been selected as inaugural recipients of the Ministry of Education’s Tagaloa scholarship, which supports Pacific Doctorate and Masters study.
- Three Auckland schools are benefitting from a $1.3 billion nationwide school redevelopment programme. May Road School, Onehunga Primary School and Albany Primary School are getting new classrooms to replace those in poor condition, and will benefit from investment in projects to support expected increases in student numbers.
And now to identifying the audience to whom Tinetti delivered her NZPF Moot Speech.
The possibilities (because you could say learning and attendance are involved in all of them) include: Continue reading “Tinetti’s teaser – to whom was she talking when she delivered a Moot Speech about teaching and truancy?”
A pre-Christmas post headed New library boasts admirable resources – but don’t expect to find too many books raised concerns for Point of Order readers about New Zealanders’ reading habits and the rundown of public libraries.
We quoted Lloyd Jones, writing on The Spinoff news website about his first visit to the new library in Christchurch. He said it has a “wonderful sound recording studio”, a sewing room and a 3D printer – but he found the books “herded into an area barely more generous than the space on the ground-floor allocated to teenagers and video games”.
Wellington’s central city library, closed as an earthquake risk in March last year, used to hold 380,000 books and have 3000 visitors, including 500 children, a day.
There is no schedule for reopening it or replacing it, but if that happens new mayor Andy Foster told the Dominion Post (Dec 4) he would like it to have “creative spots and activities such as Lego and 3D printing”.
Jones disagreed with Victoria University’s professor of library information and management studies, Anne Goulding, who said libraries were moving away from being storage places for books and “transactions to building relationships in the community”.
“A library is where people go to read,” Jones said. “A library is where they may borrow a book. A library is one of the most honourable and civic institutions that a community can accommodate and offer to its young.” Continue reading “Update on the undermining of literacy – no honours for writers and the rundown of libraries”
by David Barber
“To read,” says Jim Flynn, Emeritus Professor of Politics at Otago University, “is to enter a magic realm in which people are more interesting, informed, amusing and intelligent than anyone you encounter in everyday life.”
It is a realm that half of New Zealand 15-year-olds never enter, according to the OECD’s latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), as reported by Radio NZ this week.
The survey reported that 52 per cent of students said they only read “if I have to””. Forty-three per cent said they do not read for enjoyment, 28 per cent never read non-fiction books and 18 per cent said they never read fiction.
It is not entirely a new situation. Flynn made his bid to change it a decade ago with a book called The Torchlight List – Around the World in 200 Books. (Awa Press, 2010).
He wrote then that after more than half a century as a university lecturer one thing troubled him greatly. Continue reading “New library boasts admirable resources – but don’t expect to find too many books”
Cold, hard cash settled the teachers’ dispute, even though there had been many high-minded claims from the union over teachers leaving the profession because of the stress of the job, and the lack of classroom support.
Even in the wake of the settlement some leaders within the profession were wailing the new pay scales would do little to attract fresh talent into the profession.
And let’s face it: that’s what NZ schools need.
There are still enormous gaps in the education system between high-performing schools and those at the lower end of the scale. Critics say standards in NZ schools fall far below those in advanced economies like Singapore and Japan. Continue reading “Head of the NZEI is proud of pay lift but principals are prickly on the parity issue”
The irony may have escaped most of those who voted Labour in 2017.
Particularly teachers (who reckon the government is penny-pinching in limiting a pay offer to them to $700m over four years). No generosity there — but back in the days of the election campaign Labour was very generous in offering free tertiary fees for first year students.
So how has that worked out?
Finance Minister Grant Robertson revealed this week that in his drive to cull $1bn of low-priority spending, $200m allocated to the fees-free policy in the education vote, but not spent, has been transferred — but no, not to meet the teachers’ demands. It will be devoted to reforms in the vocational education sector. Continue reading “Fees-free policy perhaps attracted more voters to the polls than students to universities”
If Education Minister Chris Hipkins is overcome by an urge to join his cabinet colleagues in overseas travel but doesn’t have a good reason, we suggest he visits a state school in one of London’s poorest boroughs.
Forty-one of this school’s students have been offered a place at Oxford and Cambridge this year.
This rivals the admission rates of some of the top-performing private schools across the UK, according to the BBC
Brampton Manor is a state school in Newham in east London.
Nearly all of the students who received Oxbridge offers are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds; two-thirds will be the first in their families to attend university.
Half of them are on free school meals. Continue reading “Why Hipkins should study the formula for a London state school’s remarkable academic success”
The political “kindness and empathy” which the Ardern coalition government has patented as its trademark doesn’t seem to be making much headway with the teachers’ union. Which is ironic in many ways.
Latest reports say primary and intermediate teachers and principals have “overwhelmingly” rejected the government’s latest pay offer , on the grounds, it’s said, it will not fix the industry’s staffing “crisis”.
About 30,000 New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZIE) union members voted on what was the third round of offers, in a secret online ballot. NZIE president Lynda Stuart said the message from members was that the offers did not do enough to fix the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.
“The big concern for members was that the offers had nothing that would give teachers more time to teach or principals time to lead.” Continue reading “Teachers want ‘crisis’ resolved – then exacerbate it with their intransigence”
Sorry – but did we hear that correctly?
Sadly, we did. According to an RNZ item in the midday news, students won’t be penalised for not knowing the meaning of “trivial” when they bumped into the word – apparently for the first time – in a history exam.
The chair of the History Teachers Association, a bloke by name of Graeme Ball, was quoted as saying he welcomed this news from the NZQA..
But perhaps we should not be too surprised. The first objective on the list of his association’s aims is to “promote and encourage the teaching of history”.
The teaching of the English-language component of the three R’s obviously is somebody else’s problem. Continue reading “Just a trivial misunderstanding – history students’ ignorance won’t be penalised by NZQA”
So who do you feel sorry for: primary school teachers who say they are undervalued, underpaid and overworked?
Or Education Minister Chris Hipkins, who is “disappointed” teachers are going on strike, despite the government’s “strong new offer”.
Political aficionados might find some irony in the whole affair. Teachers were desperate for the Labour Party to win the Treasury benches, knowing it would be a relatively soft touch after nine years of a flinty-faced National government.
And Hipkins early in his term sought to cosy up to the teachers’ union by bending to their demand that charter schools be abolished.
Continue reading “After expelling the charter schools, Hipkins is pressed to do better on teachers’ pay”
The looming teachers’ strike poses a real headache for the Ardern government. In throwing down the gauntlet to Education Minister Chris Hipkins, the teachers’ union has talked of a “crisis” in the schools, a desperate shortage of teachers, and of principals “in tears” with the stress of trying to ensure there is a teacher in every classroom.
Hipkins says he is disappointed, but not surprised, that primary teachers will strike again.
The government has raised its initial bid of an increased 2.2% to 2.6% a year to 3% a year over the next three years but the the gap between this and what the teachers are demanding remains wide. Continue reading “$5bn surplus divided among 17,000 teachers – it’s not so simple when Robertson becomes involved”