top of page

Subscribe Form

Thanks for submitting!

Search

EDUCATION AND NEW ZEALAND’S FUTURE

Nothing matters more for the future of New Zealand than educating our children. As part of the globalised world we have contributed towards the common good and wasted opportunities in about equal measure. Unless we now retreat to the small, isolated South Sea islands that the current government appears to favour, improving educational standards will be vital for an economy and society that engages with the wider world. Yet, literacy and numeracy standards have sharply declined in recent years. Worse still, truancy from schools has risen rapidly. Despite schooling being compulsory for children, more and more kids have been skipping classes. The rising rates are available from the Ministry of Education. In 1996 roughly 90% of all children were attending school on any given day. Over the following decade truancy rates, especially from Year Nine rose, especially among boys. Maori truancy was worse than any other ethnic group, and two and a half times more than for New Zealand Europeans. By 2019-2020 attendance at schools was down to 62% across the board with the largest increases being in the lowest decile schools among Years One to Eight, and for Maori and Pacific Island children.


The law provides for ways in which these statistics should be handled. The Education Act requires teachers to take the roll, to report details to the principal, who in turn alerts the school’s board and passes problems to the area’s Truancy Officers. Parents can be fined for every day a child skips school without an excuse, with a maximum fine of $3,000. Sounds straight forward doesn’t it? But, more and more schools don’t file their statistics, and there seem to be fewer and fewer Truancy Officers. More serious is the fact that this government in particular seems unprepared to hold parents responsible for any form of parenting. Gone are the days when a judge mulled over parental failings before sentencing. Ministers don’t like using the stick on parents who are voters. Instead, they hopefully dangle carrots.


When faced with the evidence of rising truancy rates, our de facto Education Minister, Jan Tinetti, in the absence of Covid manager Chris Hipkins, had this to say: “By refreshing our curriculum, providing lunches and period products in schools, eliminating exam fees, and removing school donations, we are making sure school is interesting and relevant to young people, which will contribute to improved attendance”. Note that what she claims credit for is mostly substituting state payments for what in former times were parental obligations. And across the board, not just in needy areas. Nothing about the importance of education or parents’ obligations to get their kids to school. And to cap off her comments, she intends to “review truancy services this coming year”.


We are now into the fourth year of this government’s time in office, during which truancy has risen steadily. And the minister is going to have a “review”? Fills you with confidence doesn’t it? I wonder if she’ll consult her ministry’s own statistics on line and realise how serious the problem has become under her government? The one thing I feel sure about is that she won’t have any solution that might work. Remember that these are the ideologues who stopped establishment of any more Charter Schools just when they were producing great results: 90% attendance rates in schools with 90% or more Maori and Pacific Island students, and much higher than New Zealand’s average NCEA results.


2,301 views21 comments

21 Comments


Robin Gardiner
Robin Gardiner
Apr 14, 2021

The truancy rates are very allarming My solution would be to provide financing to the schools based on who attends and not on who is enrolled. This would provide an incentive for schools to police truancy as the present solution is not working. As an aside funding for all schooling should be via vouchers ie payments follow the student Using secondary schools as an example Auckland Grammer would become so popular that it would need to take over the running of a poorly run school to fit the overflow Education would be improved over all but rest assured while the teacher unions are in charge ( and they are at present) nothing will change A race to the bottom

Like

Many years ago the NZ Youth Court stated that a regression analysis of youth criminality showed that they could determine future criminality with a high degree of accuracy based on birth circumstances alone. The two main factors at birth being:

  1. Long term welfare dependency of the mother

  2. Solo motherhood

No amount of education and teaching talent will overcome those obstacles and sadly a disproportionate amount of boys are predestined for a life of pain, anger and criminality because, right form day one, they didn't stand a chance. Gross parental neglect, physical abuse and exposure to drugs have marked their card. Meanwhile good, middle class families will educate their kids as much as the schools do. There are books in their…


Like
alanw
alanw
Apr 09, 2021
Replying to

It's far wider than just the welfare system. We've also locked these kids out of jobs and opportunities to support their own lives via grossly excessive regulation and requiring government approval and qualifications for doing anything.

Like

State Education has always been about indoctrination. The English, bless them, upon conquering nations, send the best and brightest children of conquered peoples to public schools in England. it wasn’t out of egalitarianism. It was spiritual warfare. Social engineering.


public education should be returned to parents, as it was pre 1870. Give everyone a 10% tax credit, and embark on a home schooling crusade. This is parents role, not the globalist system. The people running education are trapped in a flawed system, which only produces wage slaves, or indoctrinated fools.


[Education and the State. West]

Like

I had to teach my teenage children the times tables - I was horrified to learn that they are no longer taught. None of my kids was capable of reading a newspaper by the time they reached puberty. And no, my children are not stupid people.


I can't help wondering if the goal of the Ministry of Education is to create a nation of illiterate serfs who cannot add up or read properly, fit only for growing food for better educated nations.


If so, they're doing a stellar job of it.


I wish I could be more positive about the status of our education system. I really do. But when parents have to teach their children basic numeracy and literacy…


Like
mike
mike
Apr 07, 2021
Replying to

Your last line sums it up so well funk2funki - It IS modern day child abuse.

We also taught times tables and phonetic reading to our kids. Primary school doesn't seem to even have reading groups anymore - kids choose their own book!? How can a teacher teach your kids to read if 30 children all have 30 different books in front of them to study? The answer is they don't. Unless the parents get their kids to read out loud at home, sounding out syllables and learning phonics, they will not be able to read, nor pronounce words properly, and therefore won't be able to spell, read or reach their full potential. And so, with different home environments…


Like

alanw
alanw
Apr 07, 2021

To state the bleeding obvious, children need role models to aspire to. When their parents and peer group are hopeless what chance has a female teacher in an unruly class of inspiring a boy to anything more exciting than earning a gang patch and riding a Harley untroubled by the money laundering bureaucracy?


Fifty years ago at my children's school it was said you could tell how a child would behave by which gate they entered. I suspect the gate no longer matters in many schools.


This Government refuses to learn that effort unrewarded ceases.

Like
bottom of page