Ministry heads should roll over teacher numbers

Press Release – Maori Council

The Chair of the National Maori Authority and the Auckland District of New Zealand Maori Council, Matthew Tukaki, has said heads should roll over the debacle of the teachers shortage asking the question “how did it all get to this?”.

“So now we hear from the Ministry of Education, who by the way couldn’t even provide a breakdown to Radio New Zealand of where the actual number of teacher applications had come from in terms of country, that 550 foreign teachers are now ready to be recruited for New Zealand schools. This is on the back of an estimated shortfall of more than 900 at the start of next year” Mr. Tukaki said

“Are we to believe that the shortfall somehow just magically appeared? No it didn’t it was the result of years of mis-planning or no planning at all in connection to both the population growth and the specific growth in the k-12 demographic (school aged children) so forgive me for saying this but who would trust the Ministry when they say they now have 550 foreign teachers ready to go?” Tukaki said

“That is not a long term plan – that’s about putting your finger in your mouth, pulling it out, sticking it in the air and hoping for a good forecast. The other point is how is it these people are culturally competent to be in our schools and teaching our children with no context of who we are as a nation, the languages we speak, our culture and, what it is to be Maori? Other than a two week course.” He said

“This really speaks to the incompetence of the Ministry to entrust the future of children into the hands of who knows who. What testing has been done about the backgrounds of these teachers? Their former work histories? Anyone checked their social media accounts to see what they rant about? Anyone completed a psychometric test? What we need is a plan and for our Maori children we need to be sitting at the table developing and designing that plan. In fact all New Zealanders should be concerned about the circus the Ministry has been running now for the last decade.” He said

Mr. Tukaki has called on the Government and the Minister to begin a complete review of the teacher recruitment process, the targeting of New Zealand population groups, such as the 172,000 living in Australia, the campaigns that have been run for teach attraction and the people responsible.

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