The announcement today of Chris Hipkins as the new Education Minister and Tracey Martin, Kelvin Davis and Jenny Salesa as Associate Education Ministers is great news for children and educators.
The combination of their talents and of a government consisting of Labour, NZ First and the Greens bodes well for education, says NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart.
All three parties have committed to reversing nine years of underfunding of children’s learning in ECE and schooling.
“Educators are looking forward to real engagement with the Minister about a promised 30-year strategic plan for education. This will allow us to develop a shared vision for the sector,” said Ms Stuart.
NZEI has forwarded to Mr Hipkins, Mr Davis, Ms Martin and Ms Salesa a Briefing for the Incoming Minister (BIM), compiled from the feedback of many thousands of NZEI members.
“When a government is formed, new Ministers receive a BIM from their officials, which advises them about the big issues they’ll need to address. Our members were eager to give their advice too, because nobody knows the issues facing education better than the people working in our schools and ECE centres,” said Ms Stuart.
The key issues identified for urgent action were additional support for special learning needs, better pay, and more teacher time for every child in primary school.
“The three parties in Government have been great supporters of quality public education, equity and fairness. We look forward to working with them and seeing their policy promises become a reality,” said Ms Stuart.
“We believe every child deserves the best education in the world. And we believe that New Zealand can afford to provide this. It’s just a matter of priorities, and now we have a government that thinks it is a priority too.”