INDEPENDENT NEWS

Mr 'Me Too' strikes again

Published: Thu 18 Nov 1999 05:27 PM
Education Minister Nick Smith has reverted to 'me too' mode with the announcement that National supports a Labour proposal for a professional standards body for the teaching profession, Labour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said.
"Extending the Teacher Registration Board into an Education Council is a feature of Labour's education policy which was released nearly four months ago," Trevor Mallard said.
"If the Minister has long advocated this concept, why has he been so silent in his support and why has he only just made an announcement when the green paper on teacher education which he refers to has been out for more than two years?
"And if he truly believes that 'the standard of our children's education is only as good as the person in front of the classroom' why do the Prime Minister and Dr Smith devote so much energy to constant teacher-bashing instead of supporting many of the very real concerns teachers have about the state of New Zealand schools?
"In fact, I believe that National's teacher bashing has turned a lot of senior secondary school students off from even considering teaching as a career option, and had a detrimental effect on the pool of applicants that colleges of education have to select from.
"On the surface, I do not disagree with most of the proposals outlined by Dr Smith today but I am extremely cynical of his timing and the reasons for his support.
"Labour in government will continue with its plans for an Education Council and I look forward to further consultation with parents, trustees and teachers about these plans after November 27," Trevor Mallard said.

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