Tēnā koe <<First Name>>
They say a week in politics is a long time. This last week has been an extraordinary one! It started with the Education Update announcements including the surprise new online schools that just came straight out of left field! And all of this on top of the Global funding proposals. Put together, they have serious consequences for how we operate day to day in our schools.
Starting with the global funding, I remind you again, ‘Go to the PUMs’. Take your teachers with you and learn all you can. Being informed is the only way you can fight for the model of funding you want to give your kids the education they deserve. I know you don’t enjoy disrupting your kids’ learning programmes or your parents’ routines, but this in the end is important for your kids.
Then there is ‘online school’! We all know priority kids are the focus of this Government and we know those kids need strong relationship building, confidence building, social skills and participation before they can engage in meaningful learning. Of all the kids at school, they are the ones who can least benefit from ‘online school’.
Information technology is well embedded into our world class curriculum, which is delivered by highly qualified teaching professionals. This is so we are preparing our kids for the demands of the twenty-first century.
We have some excellent examples of using the net to connect classes of kids from isolated schools as happens through the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) Primary School. Through VLN kids in their own schools with their own fully qualified teachers can take lessons online with other kids from isolated areas.
If a school doesn’t have the full complement of subject choices, students can take subjects through other online or satellite connections. It’s great! There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The Correspondence school or Te Kura is another source of highly qualified teachers with specialist expertise in distance learning.
So why would you want to be introducing commercial companies to compete in this well-developed space? Why would you want to invite inferior online programmes into our system which don’t have to be taught by qualified, teachers? Why would we want to dilute the quality of our education system? It’s a dangerous idea.
Finally if you have received a survey on wellbeing from NZCER, PLEASE do take the time to fill it out. The survey forms the evidence that we can later use to lobby for better conditions and better leadership support for you all.
Have a good week! – Make it a better one than last week!
Noho ora mai ra