Sunday, August 28, 2016

Low-cost, low-quality education coming right up...

I haven’t written a blog post in over a year. It’s not that I haven’t had things to talk about I - I‘ve considered posting on what it’s like teaching full-time again and parenting (to summarise; it’s hard, and not very enjoyable), or the weird change in social status as you move from full-time teacher, to full-time parent, back to teacher-but-also-a-new-parent, again (it’s weird, and also not very enjoyable).

I didn’t manage to write about any of that because I haven’t really had time. Or, I suppose, the inclination (I guess I could have ‘made time’, but that means de-prioritising something else, and I just don’t know what). 

Anyway here I am, blogging again, after a fairly long hiatus, and it’s all because of the hideous National government and what they are planning for the NZ education system. So I’ve made time to make this post. Please excuse the rushed-ness of it – I’m writing at the end of the weekend, when I should probably be doing more schoolwork.

So, what is the government planning to do?

Well, firstly they have created a proposal to reintroduce bulk funding for schools. Ugh. Any form of bulk finding for schools sucks (the government says it’s not bulk funding but it actually is) because it means principals have less $$$ allocated specifically for teaching, and thus they are more inclined to spend the cash on other areas that add less value to students' learning. 

And then this past week the government announced that it would introduce ‘online schools’; these can be schools, tertiary providers, or ‘private providers’. So, more charter schools, essentially. Online charter schools. Sounds….alarming. (That’s a big FU to the Key Competency of ‘Relating to Others’ in the NZ Curriculum…as well as the NZ Curriculum in general, I guess). O National, y u hate teachers so much?

Also, from what I’ve managed to read (in the last hour or so) these ‘online schools’ are intended to pretty much take over from the Correspondence School. That’s interesting....the Correspondence School serves a huge number of students of all ages and backgrounds across the country. I guess the government hates it too, and all its horrible miscreant students.

Anyway, I don’t have time to go into the ins and outs of online learning - yes, some kids don’t do so well in the mainstream system; but no, a laptop and a hovering parent cannot replace a professionally trained teacher (imagine having your teenager studying at home EVERY DAY, ALL WEEK with you!! Ha!) - but the whole thing is horrid.

I’ve had numerous conversations with quite a few people over the past week about Hekia Parata and the National Government and while some think Parata is ‘stupid’ and ‘uninformed’, others think she is ‘quite smart’ and ‘evil’. I don’t really know what to think about her personally...she’s possibly all of the above?

So, to summarise, the current National Government continues to dismantle the state education system as best as they can in their seemingly endless run of power. When will it end?? When will we stop voting them back in???

And that is all I have time to write. Over and Out.

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