INDEPENDENT NEWS

Reading Inquiry Poses Big Challenge For Government

Published: Tue 14 Aug 2001 12:37 AM
The Education and Science Select Committee's report on the Inquiry into the teaching of reading in New Zealand has raised serious concerns about the standard of some of our teacher training institutions.
"It's now up to the Government to take up the recommendations of this report. Education Minister Trevor Mallard must ensure Steve Maharey's Tertiary Education Advisory Commission addresses the standard of teacher education providers," National's Education Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.
"There is evidence of low standards in our Teacher Colleges. It would be easy for the Government to blame PTEs but it's some state owned providers that aren't up to scratch.
"We shouldn't stand for low standards in our classrooms, so why should low standards in teacher training be acceptable? Just as in our classrooms, we need to get tougher on standards.
"Only two weeks ago we heard about the importance of developing human capital so we can catch the knowledge wave. There is a danger that the knowledge wave will pass us by and leave us isolated from the rest of the developed world if our classrooms haven't adequately prepared our students.
"As the teacher supply situation becomes more desperate there is a risk of standards being lowered even further. Mr Mallard and Mr Maharey must ensure this doesn't happen.
"The committee concluded that 'many teachers are simply inadequately prepared by teacher education courses for properly teaching all children to read, assessing what skills children bring with them to school and devising the most appropriate programme for each child'.
"ERO should be tasked with reviewing teacher education, just as it reviews teaching in classrooms. We must get higher standards in teacher training before the rest of the world passes us by," Mr Brownlee said.
Ends

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