Saturday, April 13, 2024

Alwyn Poole: Is David Seymour Chris Hipkins in Disguise?

When the school attendance crisis became fully evident the, then, Minister of Education (Hipkins), blamed parents and said it was up to them to get kids to school. He dared not blame the schools.

In opposition Seymour was fierce and inspiring. Parents were to be given enough money each year so as to be able to choose their ECE and school. Schools had to improve or shut down. The Ministry of education was going to go from 4,400 staff back to the pre 2018 number of 2,700 – which was already bizarrely inflated with seat warmers.

In government that lion has turned 180 degrees (baaa). The Ministry of Education has not yet shed an employee and are one of Seeks best customers. None of the disastrous top 12 have been sent to Ukraine. There is nothing yet about parents having their choices enhanced. And – Seymour’s solution to the attend crisis is more quickly publishing system wide data – when it needs to be school by school every week – and he is going to fine parents.

David suddenly seems afraid of the unions and the schools. ACT is the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers. They used to stand for small government. They used to stand for families and not against them. I took my three children to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan when they were at primary school. They missed some school but learned a year’s worth of experience. I would not be paying a fine and neither will anyone else.

NZ schools and teachers have lost a big segment of the room. We have 2,600 schools and a large portion of those I would not be advising any parent to simply send their kids along without a lot of due diligence and complete assurance that their child will be taught well and be free from bullying from the BoT, Principal, teachers and other children.

Forcing children back into school is no solution. As a good friend states – the school is often the source of a child’s trauma. If the only reason a child is at school is that the parent has been fined … how do you think that will turn out?

The solution is almost all school based.

The bottom lines:

* teachers need to become people the vast majority of young people (and their parents) want to learn from. They need to be well qualified and, primary teachers (by their own admission) are not confident in Math and Science they need to do NCEA L2 in both.

* schools need to be seen as being highly purposeful, and safe – good places to be EVERY day.

* schools and teachers need to win back credibility by being open every day. No teacher only days (especially on the Thursday before Good Friday), strikes, or parent teacher interviews in school time after sending the kids home (a really weird development).

* NCEA/NZQA needs to regain full credibility as a qualification worth striving for. Postponing improvement for a few years is kicking the can down the road. Seymour and Stanford need to employ the very best people and have everything flying in 2026 … it is not that hard!

* much of our emphasis needs to be different. I love sport but some of it has gone well over the top. The high quality boys school – St Peters in Epsom has their leavers graduating with UE at 93% (Auckland Grammar at 74%) The provincial boys schools who call themselves the Super 8 have a low of 14.3% Rotorua Boys and a high of 42% Napier Boys. But if their 1st XV has had a good year all is chipper.

Seymour’s hair colour may differ from that of Hipkins but, so far, it is a NCEA style “Not Achieved” for the Associate Minister.

Alwyn Poole, a well-known figure in the New Zealand education system, he founded and was the head of Mt Hobson Middle School in Auckland for 18 years. This article was sourced HERE


Gaynor said...

The Min.of Miss Ed., teachers' unions, NZCER,and Academia are a formidable force for Seymour to take on. They are entrenched in their Progressive Ideology.

I really think solutions way outside the square are required. Most adults could teach traditional methods at the primary level but not Secondary. This subject area could be covered by expert teachers through on line teaching and labs. and tutorials sponsored perhaps by big firms. I am a fan of expertly structured workbooks having taught maths at all levels using these with only one tutored lesson a week and phone calls /emails allowed for problems during the week.

When parents ask me what schools I would recommend I reply "Actually none of them in this local area. Our education system is in a terrible state.'

Peter said...

Fair enough comments, but the consistent thread of this failed system lies with those in charge that have seen Govt's and Minister's come and go. It will never succeed as long as Iona Holsted and her close cabal remain.

They surely should have now been weighed; they have assuredly been measured (as we have all seen the appalling results); and they most certainly have been found wanting (for a great many years). So why on earth are we still putting up with them?

Our Education Ministers are like out PM, clearly lacking intestinal fortitude to grasp the nettle and do what's so obviously needed.

Anonymous said...

It's time to shutter the entire system and refund the taxpayer. We don't need more dumbing down of the youth. Let parents seek schooling in a competitive marketplace that actually caters to the values, wants and desires of families, their children and healthy society.

Anonymous said...

Peter is totally right.