Topics the ministry expects the group to cover include the future of work, student wellbeing, education, mental health, perspectives on technology and the use of digital tools in learning and assessment.

The group will meet in the third week of every term at the Ministry of Education in Wellington.

Hadassah, from Kerikeri, a Year 12 student at Te Kapehu Whetu partnership school in Whangarei, said her school had been very supportive, and she was excited about making a meaningful contribution.

“I’m the only student from the Far North. I’m just doing this on behalf of my school and for Northland, and it’d be great for more Northland kids to want to do this, to prove they can do it and that anything else is possible.

“It’s really important for youth to have a say. A lot of the policies that are being created affect us first-hand, so having a youth voice is key.”

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said he would attend the orientation and the group meetings where possible, or would take part by Skype. An experienced youth facilitator selected by Ministry of Education officials will be present at each meeting.

Mr Hipkins said he expected the group to offer fresh perspectives and valuable insights about education.

“I want our young people to have a say in the way our education system works, and the Youth Advisory Group provides an exciting opportunity for young New Zealanders to get involved in the decision-making,” he said.

“I am looking forward to working with this inspiring group of young people, hearing about their experiences of our education system, and how they think we can improve it.”

Insights will be shared with the Ministry of Education and other education agencies.

– Northland Age

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