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From the CEs Pen

 

 

  Ngā mihi nui, ngā mihi mahana, ngā mihi aroha. Tēnā kotou katoa. Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Nisa bula vinaka, Taloha ni, Fakalofa lahi atu, Ni hao, Namaste, and warm greetings.

 Before the election we shared with you the parties’ responses to the Burning Issues you told us the next government needed to address. Now we are following up with briefings to the various incoming ministers whose portfolios are relevant to education and skills.  Here are some of the key points we’ll be raising:

 1.  The Auckland teacher shortage:  Labour and the Greens planned to address the Auckland teacher shortage as a matter of priority.This is urgent for Auckland schools at all levels and we will be recommending that the promised review be implemented as soon as possible and followed with coherent, well-thought-out action.

 2.  Te ReoMāori  as a core subject in all schools:  The Greens support universal Te Reo learning in all schools up to year 10, Labour undertook to ensure students have the opportunity to learn Te Reo, and NZ First promised teaching progressions to support delivery of Te Reo.  We will continue to call for a planned, evidence-informed approach to ensure over time that all children learn our national language as a matter of course, not just as an option.

3.  A national languages policy: NZ First does not have a position on this but the Greens committed to creating a national languages policy and Labour say they will work towards one over time. We will be asking the new government to begin a consultation towards developing a national languages policy as a framework for valuing, maintaining, learning and using our diverse languages across all policy areas.

 4.  Opportunities for adults to build skills and re-train.  The changing needs of our economy mean that most workers will need to refresh their skills throughout their career. The announcement of fees-free tertiary learning for the first year will make a significant difference for students, and we were pleased to see both Labour and the Greens undertaking to reinstate funding for adult learning.

 5.  Equitable funding for quality: Labour promised to reinstate extra funding for ECE centres that employ 100% qualified and registered teachers and NZ First has a policy to improve funding for Playcentre, Kohanga Reo and HIPPY.  These are all potentially valuable initiatives to support quality early learning.  We also note some policies around extending teacher professional development beyond literacy and numeracy, but would like to see more commitment to ensuring all teachers have access to skills and resources to support deep, authentic learning across the curriculum. 

6. Supporting employability skill-building: Labour’s education policy includes a commitment to create a School Leavers’ Toolkit, to ensure young people are well-equipped for work and life.  This includes courses teaching key workplace competencies.  We applaud this plan and will be keen to share what we have learned through developing and implementing our Youth Employability Programme.

If you have thoughts on what needs to be included in our briefings to the incoming ministers, please send them through. Meanwhile, if you are in contact with any of the new ministers, please take the opportunity to raise these issues.

Nga mihi,

Susan Warren