David Officer

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

×