Education

‘New Zealand’s largest-ever strike’ looms

Photo: Lynn Grieveson

How many more strikes are we going to see this year I wonder? The money required for the prime minister’s knee jerk, gun buyback scheme is going to continue to have flow-on effects. The cost of a buyback was not planned for or budgeted for, yet this massive amount of money has to come from somewhere.

  • Has it been taken away from education?
  • Has it been taken away from mental health?
  • Has it been away from building houses?
  • Has it been taken away from lifting children out of poverty?
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As NCEA pass rates fall the ethnicity gaps widen

The Labour-led government that closed all the Charter schools which were wildly successful at closing the educational ethnicity gaps, is failing New Zealand’s young people.

The signs are very bad 18 months into their government.

Alwyn Poole has said that the tragedy of the 2018 results is that it is making a bad situation for groups already struggling, much worse. The Ministry is yet to publish the University Entrance statistics for schools leavers for 2018 but in 2017 it was:

  • Asian students 67%
  • European students 44%
  • Maori students 20%
  • Pasifika students 19%

If those stats follow trends, Poole says we “could be at 85% of Maori and Pasifika school leavers without a Tertiary study ticket to ride.”

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Incite Politics

Free University: The Australian Experience

Australia experimented with free higher education for fifteen years, from 1974, when the left-wing Whitlam government abolished university fees, until 1989, when the reformist Hawke government, introduced the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS . . .

We need teachers, not preachers

Where did the teachers go? Somewhere, over the Rainbow?

Kids having story books read to them by bearded men with lipstick seems wrong to me. Where did all the ?real ? teachers go? Those that taught us to think for ourselves, not to think as they think?

To be a teacher is a most honourable profession. Or, at least, it should be.

New Zealand has fallen to 33rd of 50 countries in international literacy rankings. This is not surprising when so many teachers are themselves the products of a flawed system. Too many are incapable of simple arithmetic without the use of a calculator. More importantly, there are those who seek to stifle critical thinking and promote their own views to the children whose young minds are in their care.

Teachers too often bring socialist politics into the classroom. Some bring youngsters to despair with their view that there is no future because the world will be destroyed in 12 years. Too many tell them that they are not boys or girls, but are whatever they choose to be on any given day. How have we let this happen?

I was fortunate enough to embrace my education in a school run by a man who believed in critical thinking, debate and the wonderful and exciting concept of who, what, when, where, why and how.

It must have been tough for my teacher: 60 kids in a class that had several grades. But he taught us and inspired us and we eagerly walked to school in the middle of winter in our gumboots, slid into our classroom slippers and relished the day of discovery that lay before us.

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Scots College Head accused of sexism

The prestigious boys’ school, Scots College in Wellington is going co-ed next year, after being a single-sex school for 103 years. The school recently held an open day for students looking at attending the college next year, and well … it didn’t go well. quote.

The headmaster of a prestigious Wellington all-boys school has been accused of making “sexist” comments after he said female students won’t be allowed to “sit at the back of class painting their nails” when the school goes co-ed. end quote.

Chill out, guys… it is just an expression. He could also have said that boys will not be allowed to sit at the back of the class scratching their…heads… quote.

However, questions have been raised over the school’s readiness to accept young women by three prospective students who say Scots headmaster Graeme Yule included “multiple sexist remarks” in his speech to parents and potential future students at a recent open day. end quote.

Are we not allowed to say anything any more? He wanted to make it clear that the young ladies that joined Scots College would be expected to pull their weight… do the hard yards… put in a good day’s work… go the extra mile, and keep their pretty noses to the grindstone…

You know what I mean. quote.

Yule says his comments were taken out of context and he felt “gobsmacked” by the reaction as the school worked toward ensuring female students were “valued and accepted” at Scots. end quote.

We can be sure he meant no harm by his comments. He was actually trying to be especially inclusive, saying that he expected the first female pupils of Scots College should ‘hit the ground running’… but that is not what was heard. A few young women instead decided to take offence at a commonly used phrase.

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Free driving lessons for disadvantaged yoofs?

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

Last week your prime minister announced that sher and her Labour-led coalition partners are keen to part with a bit more of your money in order to help some of the disadvantaged yoofs of New Zealand get driver’s licences.

Their plan is to spend five million dollars starting June 1st to get 2,500 disadvantaged young people onto at least their restricted licence. This is over and above their stated intention of giving free driving lessons and licence tests for all senior high-school students; announced before the 2017 election as part of its School Leavers Toolkit policy which was also announced in the speech from the throne.

According to that policy, every student will be offered five hours of professional driving lessons, a defensive driving course, and free testing for their learners’ and restricted licence before they leave school.

I’m a bit conflicted on this one. On a few of the MoT and police oriented sookbook pages that I follow, I was kind of surprised to see that most of the commenters were quite anti with regard to this announcement . The general consensus being along the lines of…quote.

“If we had to pay for it, so should you, get off your butts and sort yourself out, don’t expect us to hold your hand”

End quote.

As a centre-right kind of a guy, I can see the merit in those arguments.

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2019: A new Vanguard?

Vanguard Military School students. PHOTO-Vanguard Military School facebook page

By Nick Hyde
Chairman of the Board

On December the 7th 2018 Vanguard Military School held its graduation ceremony just as it had for the previous four years. We celebrated the success of our recruits, acknowledged the hardships they had overcome, their resilience in changing their lives for the better, the support they had received from their parents/caregivers and all the dedication and hard work by the staff to make this all possible.

The staff in their academic gowns shook their hands as they went across the stage and the recruits smiled, hugged and in some cases cried to show their pride and appreciation. Awards were given, trophies raised and scholarships to university presented. The only difference was that this year was our last as a charter school and we were now heading into the unknown.

The following questions have been asked of me by the readers of Whaleoil and I have done my best to answer them.

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Family First defends bullied teacher

A person acting in their personal capacity started a petition that turned out to be very popular. So popular, in fact, that it resulted in an unbelievable attack on her, which was exposed recently on Twitter by Elliot Ikilei.

Helen [redacted] petition gained over forty thousand signatures. Over forty thousand and to silence her, the Left have come for her with vengence and venom.

Parents are no longer as important as state ideology.

Elliot Ikilei

Below is the bullying letter sent to complain about an individual exercising her democratic right to start a petition. The shocking part of this story is that the bullying letter came from a group of teachers.

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Government changes to school boards ‘not justified’ says IoD

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has expressed concern about recommendations made by the Tomorrow?s Schools Independent Taskforce. They say that that the recommendations will “fundamentally change the nature of school boards, significantly reducing their role and responsibilities.” quote.

IoD Governance Leadership Centre General Manager Felicity Caird says ?given the amount of change proposed and the importance of maintaining a well-functioning system, the IoD has significant concerns about the lack of robust evidence and analysis to justify the proposed changes.?

?Many of the IoD?s members serve (or have served) as trustees on school boards. It is clear from a recent survey of our members that the school board governance model is not fundamentally broken and many boards are operating effectively. Fifty-seven percent of respondents thought the current school governance model is effective or very effective, and 69% agreed or strongly agreed their school board of trustees has the right capability to govern effectively.

?We know there are some boards and schools that are not operating effectively and these situations need to be addressed promptly to ensure the school system promotes equity and excellence,? Caird says.

?Transferring core board responsibilities to Education Hubs is not the answer and 63% of our survey respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that hubs would improve the quality of school governance.

The IoD has raised concerns around the ability of the proposed Education Hubs to carry out governance responsibilities, given the large portfolio of schools (circa 125 per hub) they will be required to oversee. A particular concern is with the recommendation for Education Hubs to employ school principals. end quote.

robot GIF
” Danger Will Robinson! Danger!”
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A frightening Education prospect: Q+A

If you have a great Youtube or Vimeo video to share send it to [email protected]

Two clips from the panel Q&A on NZ Education.

To talk of this review actually being implemented is frightening on so many levels and will not solve a single problem at the student/family level. Especially in decile 1 schools.?
I very much appreciate the quality hosting of TVNZ and the opportunity to honestly share views.

Alwyn Poole