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Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)

The Government’s announcement that it will provide funding for additional teaching and tutoring and more Te Kura summer school places, to help the students worst affected by COVID to catch up on or re-engage with learning, is welcome, says Melanie Webber, PPTA Te Wehengarua President.

“COVID has taken a huge toll on rangatahi, particularly those who, for a variety of reasons, haven’t been able to keep engaged with their learning through such hugely disruptive times. More funding for supports to help these young people re-engage and get the skills and qualifications they need is absolutely the right thing to do.

 “However, schools desperately need more skilled and professional guidance counsellors to build relationships with at-risk ākonga and their families before these young people dis-engage. We need ambulances at the top of the cliff.

“It is good to see that the Government acknowledges and is trying to address the worsening shortage of teachers in our schools. However, we seriously wonder where the teachers are going to come from.

Results of a survey PPTA carried out back in May painted a dire picture. “Almost a third of secondary schools that responded had teachers working in areas in which they were not specialised because specialists could not be found, and almost 50 appointments were made by schools despite there being no suitable applicants. All the evidence suggests that the situation has only got worse since May.

“Aiming to hire more than 700 teachers from overseas in an extremely competitive international market seems very optimistic. Also, while overseas teachers do bring diversity and rich experience, they do not have any background in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, or Te Reo and Te Ao Māori. So it is not an ideal solution by any means.

“The fact of the matter is that there are thousands of highly qualified, trained and experienced teachers right here in communities throughout Aotearoa who would come back tomorrow to do the job they love if they were better paid and their workloads were manageable. That would be the soundest investment the Government could make.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 September 2022 12:35