Having teachers in classrooms will need a plan

The Government’s small injection of funding into Teach First NZ won’t address the workforce problems that are affecting New Zealand schools and students, the Green Party said today.

“There are more kids coming through schools and lots of teachers leaving teaching. This Government hasn’t done the work required to ensure there are enough teachers to teach,” said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“There needs to be a workforce plan for how our country will address looming teacher shortages, and today’s announcement isn’t that.

“This little bit of funding announced today is a stopgap measure that won’t address the root of the problem – not enough teachers in our schools to teach kids.

“Teachers are leaving as they get older and newer teachers are burning out, there is a real problem here.

“By opening up the market on teacher education, through Teach First NZ, there is no guarantee of quality, and that is going to impact upon our kids’ education.

“We need to focus on initial teacher education providers to deal with issues like learning support and cultural responsiveness and that is not fixed by more low quality providers.

“The Minister today identified some of the issues around having enough te reo Māori teachers, but Teach First NZ are not going to be addressing this problem.

“The Greens are out consulting now with parents, teachers unions, hapū and iwi to create a plan that will ensure every Kiwi kid will learn te reo Māori from primary school onwards.

“We know that having enough qualified teachers is a huge problem and is holding us back from having universal te reo Māori being taught in our schools,” said Ms Delahunty. 

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