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Alwyn Poole: Forced Absenteeism in our Schools and the Impact on Learning and Families


The attendance data that Associate Minister of Education, Jan Tinetti, stated was the most important in terms of policy impact was the Term 2 data this year.

Regular attendance measures the percentage of students who have attended more than 90 percent of the term.

Results for regular attendance in term two were:


All deciles were well down on previous years.

There were approximately 128,000 students “chronically” absent in that they missed 30% or more school days.

Going to school either matters or it doesn’t. Schools, teachers and the Ministry of Education say that it does, and outcome/attendance data certainly supports that view. You would think then it would be all hands- on- deck to maximise students coming to school in these fractured times.

So, I have been somewhat stunned to hear from a range of families where schools have taken 12 or more teacher only days (TODs) this year. All children are marked present for these days which is, in effect, forced absenteeism. The TODs are also rarely coordinated so a working parent, with three children at different schools, could have had up to 36 days to revamp their lives for. I am hearing of working people who have used up all of their annual leave through the impact of TODs. Some schools retort that “they are not a baby-sitting service”. No one expects them to be – just that when schools are “open” and during term time children should be able to go and be well taught.

Add to that the full-on round of paid union meetings at present ...

Is it any wonder that so many children/families are seeing school as an option - not an imperative?




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36 comentários


IMO, most of us are inherently lazy like our hunter gather ancestors were. When they did not have to hunt, gather, fight or flee, they sat around talking, singing, playing games, telling stories and also slept quite a lot. Most peole work because they have to in order to survive and raise thier families as responsible and productive independent adults. Education is a process by which children are offerred the knowledge and skills that will need to use if they want to be responsible, independent and productive adults. Most kids do not understand that because they are kids and also because no-one tells them, Kids would naturally prefer to talk, sing, dance, tell stories, play games and sleep instead of doing the work…

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basilwnz
basilwnz
03 de dez. de 2022
Respondendo a

Yes, agreed

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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
02 de dez. de 2022

The problem is twofold.

Yes . This sudden decline In attendance is attributable to scholastic ability spiraling downwards. But.

Tell me if im going of the beaten track of truth here.

It seems , at least to me, that the bar has being lowered to allow a once acceptable level of competence, back when I was at school in the 80s,

This credits based nonsensical rubbish is just that. Rubbish. Either you achieve 50% , and pass your level in any particular subject, or you achieve 49 % and fail.

Harsh? Sure it is . But true.

Having a firm marker in the sand only encourages those, who fail, to try their guts out to to get better. The reve…


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Respondendo a

The only way to correctly assess whether something has been achieved or not is to "examine" it. The only way to know if knowledge or skills have been acquired is examinations in which those who have aquired it pass on to the next phase and those who have not fail and have to try harder. The real problem with examinations was that it also assesses the competence of the teachers and administrators of the system and threatens their security. It suits the people in the system better to pretend that everyone was successful but it is not rational. lowering the standards is easier than helping children achieve them. The goal ought to be excellence but has become mediocrity because that is easier to achieve. Most…

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I looked up my high school reports today.

I was in the 3rd form (year 9) at Hamilton Boys high School in 1969.

I missed 2 half days (probably a whole day) in the entire school year of 370 half days.

I cannot recall any "teacher only days" over the 4 years I attended.

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Bring back Cranmer, please.

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Peter Y
Peter Y
01 de dez. de 2022

I would urge all readers of this to take the time to read Bruce Moon's very interesting memoir and commentary on where our education system is currently headed.

https://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.com/2022/12/bruce-moon-reflections-memoir.html

We are in a crisis on so many fronts.


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Respondendo a

From my experience you argue with Bruce at your peril.

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