Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
We’re very pleased with the decision made by Jacinda Ardern’s government to allow international trainee teachers time to gain registration in New Zealand.
The initial proposal only allowed international students a one year visa following graduation. This would not have allowed newly graduated international teachers enough time to become registered and fully certified.
The government has listened to our concerns and has amended post-study work rights to provide a two year work visa for those graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body.
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. PPTA has a long history of considered analysis of issues in education and it is clear our views are valued by New Zealand’s decision-makers.
After a decade of neglect and a complete lack of workforce planning, the education system is suffering an unprecedented shortage of teachers.
Obviously, utilising overseas teachers is not a long term solution, but it is one way to fill some of the gaping staffing holes in our secondary schools.
While the Ministry of Education is recruiting teachers internationally and offering relocation grants to meet the costs, we should be wary about closing off part of the teacher supply pipeline for secondary teachers who want to complete their teacher education here in New Zealand.
We believe that overseas teachers who have at least been through teacher training in New Zealand are more likely to have an understanding of the unique cultural context of teaching here – with the need for culturally responsive pedagogy and an understanding of our Treaty of Waitangi partnership.