Avondale College

PPTA opposes courses because kids might get a job out of them

You really have to wonder about the state of mind of teachers who oppose literally everything in education, including the possibility of students getting jobs.

Russell Blackstock reports:

It is 7.40 on a humid Auckland morning and a dedicated group of wannabe IT experts is already lining up outside a classroom at Avondale College in the west of the city.

While waiting for their teacher to arrive, the students are busily updating their social media pages and browsing news sites on smartphones and hand-held tablets.

Most of their school friends are barely out of bed, still at home wolfing down breakfast.

The youngsters ? aged 13 to 17 ? are enrolled in the school’s new Innovation Programme, a partnership with United States giant Microsoft. The kids are hoping for a headstart into computer industry roles such as software and game designers, solution architects and project managers.

Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs ? the computer whizzes of the past taught themselves to code at home in their bedrooms, but the geeks of the future will learn in the classroom.

The classes run from 8am every weekday before the regular school day starts.

The students also attend for three hours most Saturday mornings and even during the holidays.

So they even volunteer to attend classes outside of normal school hours…perish the thought that they might just be enjoying the courses.

David Officer is just 13 but is already devising a programme to help teachers mark students’ work.

Madeleine Day, 16, is developing a mobile asset-management system that she hopes will help the fuel industry make complex calculations about weights and measures.

“The course is fantastic and is geared towards preparing you for a job or further education,” Day says.

“I would like to become a software engineer or work in the gaming industry, ideally for the likes of Microsoft or Google.”

Sounds promising…but wait here come the whingers.

Not everyone agrees?that public-private partnerships are a good thing. The Post Primary Teachers’ Association has expressed concerns at such ventures.

John Guthrie, senior lecturer at the University of Otago’s Business School, warns that large corporations like Microsoft can simply use such courses to capture future customers and headhunt employees.

“It is not unlike a bank targeting youngsters and encouraging them to save with them,” he says.

“The hope is that if they get them early enough, the kids will become customers for life. It makes good business sense.

So the kids might end up with a job at the end of school? ?Yes, I can?see why some would view that as be a disaster. The teacher unions wouldn’t want kids to succeed now would they?


Source/ NZ Herald

Bob Jones kicks another cry-baby

In the same article where he ripped into Claire Nathan for her wailing over a tattoo he also kicks the school ball cry-baby Tony Hunt.

Almost all of these stories involve someone with a heightened entitlement?mentality.

Not all such stories are unworthy of reporting. Consider the account in this newspaper recently regarding the Avondale College ball. The school wants to prevent pupils attending whose parents haven’t paid the annual “donation” of $175, despite paying $110 for the ball ticket.

The?Herald?ran a photo of a Mr Tony Hunt and his crestfallen daughter. “This is extortion,” Mr Hunt complained.? Read more »

Cry Baby of the Day

Cry Bay of the Day:?Tony Hunt and daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt

Photo / Sarah Ivey NZ Herald

Photo / Sarah Ivey NZ Herald

The incident: Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt attends Avondale College and has bought a ticket to the school ball. The school however has said that she can’t go because her father hasn’t paid the school fees of $175. The NZ Herald deems this to be a front page story far more important that feeding poor children in school. The school has had this policy in place for many years.

The appropriate response: Pay the school fees, the school is subsidising the ball from fees collected for extra-curricular activities. Failing to pay the fee just means that Tony Hunt wants his daughter’s attendence to be subsidised by all the other parents who have paid their fees. If Tony Hunt pays the school fees Jazcinta can go to the ball.

The actual response:?Tony Hunt and daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt run off to the media, cry a river of tears and manage to convince the “decent journalists, trained and skilled” at?the?NZ Herald that this is an issue of major importance for New Zealand’s largest paper to run on?the?front page.

Complete with a sad looking photo thy tell their story to the world about the mean old school.

One of New Zealand’s largest schools has banned from its ball any students whose parents don’t pay annual school fees – a move one father says verges on extortion.

Avondale College says if the donation is not paid, students cannot attend the school ball on June 15 as it is an “extra-curricular activity” and ticket prices do not cover the cost.

Most schools ask for donations, and tens of millions are paid by parents each year. But schools cannot legally force parents to pay.

Tony Hunt, whose daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt is in Year 13 at Avondale College, bought a $110 ball ticket for her, but does not want to pay the $175 donation.

“Every dollar counts. But more to the point is that they advertise it as a donation. Therefore, it is voluntary. And the school ball is an important event for the kids.

“There are a lot of parents who feel obligated to pay the fee, even though they may be struggling.”

Avondale College board of trustees chairman Kevin Glubb said the long-standing position on ball attendance was made because ticket sales did not cover the cost of the event.

School donations were voluntary, but because they heavily subsidised the school ball – an extra-curricular activity – only those who paid were allowed to attend.

“It has been a historical approach – it predates my time on the board, and I don’t think any student at the school is unaware of it.”

Well, except for these two free-loaders. Perhaps he could pawn that expensive gold necklace he is wearing?


SCCZEN_280313HOSSPLWHITE2_460x230A teacher who is trouble for various reasons also has developed a mystery illness.

A teacher from an exclusive Auckland school is subject to a Teachers Council investigation, understood to be over a mystery illness and claims she behaved inappropriately with a student.

Jacqueline White, known as Jackie, left her job as senior college headmistress of Pinehurst School in December after spending five months on sick leave because of a serious illness.

She also worked briefly at the beginning of this term as deputy principal at Avondale College before resigning through ill-health.? Read more »