INDEPENDENT NEWS

Who's Responsible For Closing Schools?

Published: Fri 24 Oct 2003 09:22 AM
Who's Responsible For Closing Schools?
Education Minister Trevor Mallard is closing schools all over New Zealand, but the Education Ministry is still advertising for senior staff to manage the process, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington revealed today.
"While parents all over the country are struggling to explain to their children why they won't be able to go to the same school in 2003 or 2005, the Minister is struggling to find staff to manage the process," Miss Coddington said.
"The Ministry's website is carrying an ad for a 'Senior Advisor - Network Reviews' and applications close at the end of October. Furthermore, this was only advertised on 17 October, months after the Minister started his campaign to close 300 schools.
"In typical Orwellian doublespeak, the ad is titled 'Shaping schooling for the future' and states that key priorities for the position are 'improving the match between the provision of schooling and future demand, and examining ways of supporting review regions to strengthen educational outcomes'.
"The Education Review Office reported last month the results of school reviews in Wainuiomata and concluded that children's literacy and numeracy achievement levels had not improved one jot. However, financial accountability was now taking up most of the principals' and boards' time. In other words, our educators are being turned into bean counters.
"The Minister clearly is out of control. He's seeking staff to manage the review process when schools are already being ordered to close, or else.
"Mr Mallard must immediately halt his obsession with closing schools, or resign," Miss Coddington said.

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