Recently Labour announced that they would make some form of training compulsory of all people under 18. This means that if you want to leave school, you either need to be excused from education (apply for an exemption) or go elsewhere for training, such as a polytech. The link is here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4698496a11.html. This is all well and good if you don’t mind finishing your teenange years with a student loan and little hope of paying it off.
What we really need is to invest significant amounts of money in education. $40 million is a drop in the bucket. It will make no difference to anybody currently stuck in our under funded and under resourced education system. If you want classrooms where teachers can engage in some serious one on one time then you need to reduce class sizes. To do that you need two things, more teachers and more support for those teachers.
To get more people into teaching you need to remove that most significant of barriers, cost. By making teacher education free you automatically make it a more enticing option for people. Once there we need to encourage people to stay. As it currently stands there are more and more teachers leaving the profession. This is leaving us with under staffed schools and classes that see a different relief teacher every day. A class of 20 (Max) would instantly make the life and workload of teachers more bearable.
So we can thank Labour for another drop in a rather empty bucket, or we could take a radical approach and say, “well actually, we want something better. We want classes of 20 max and we don’t want to have to take out a student loan if school isn’t working for us.”
The Alliance would invest an extra $2 650 million in education. This is more than enough to fill the bucket to over flowing. With this we can do many things, like smaller classes, make tertiary education free, wipe student loans, Implement our teacher sabbatical plan, create new teaching posts, create new tertiary posts, and abolish school fees amongst other things.
Check out our manifesto on our website for more details.