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Dr Muriel Newman

Progressive Education a Failure

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Curriculum-2Last week’s release of NCEA results by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has shown a big decline in the number of students who are eligible to study at university from 71 percent in 2013 to 58 percent. In numerical terms the number of students who have qualified has dropped by 4,400 to 20,500. This is due in part to new requirements which have raised the entry level standard for tertiary education from NCEA Level 2 to Level 3, as well as introducing higher literacy and numeracy standards.

The new standards, which have been in the pipeline since 2011, are in response to the increasing numbers of school leavers who were dropping out of university in their first year, including 22 percent of Maori and Pacifika students and 11 percent of Europeans. Since students who enter university with NCEA Level 3 were seen to have a far better chance of success than those who entered with only Level 2,
the universities felt it was time for the system to change.

While NCEA results are continuing to improve overall, for many employers progress is not fast enough. A recent survey of more than 300 businesses by the Employers and Manufacturers Association found that over half were having difficulty recruiting skilled workers. Many found school leavers were below par in basic literacy, communication and problem solving skills, but they ranked them highly on technology, self-management, and a capacity to learn.

A poor showing in basic skills has also been evident in international test results. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, which compares the performance of 15-year-olds in 65 countries in reading literacy, maths and science every three years, showed New Zealand has slipped from 5th place in reading, 11th in maths, and 7th in science in 2006, to 13th, 23rd, and 18th place respectively in 2012.

Similarly, in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which is held every five years, New Zealand 9-year-olds finished equal last in maths among peers in developed countries in 2012. Almost half could not add 218 and 191 in a test, leading the Education Minister to consider a return to basic arithmetic for primary school children.

These poor results are a symptom that all is not well with the education system. They cast doubt on the radical reforms introduced by the previous Labour Government during its last term in office.

In 2007, then Prime Minister Helen Clark launched a new “progressive” primary and secondary school curriculum. Progressive education is strongly ideological. In its pure form, its aim is to rid the education system of elitism and replace it with egalitarianism. Traditional syllabus approaches to learning were to be exchanged for child-centred systems that were outcomes-based. Teachers were no longer to be the fountain of knowledge, but facilitators of learning. Objective testing and assessment were to be avoided wherever possible, and the centralised control of education was to be eliminated by passing that responsibility onto schools and their Boards.

At the time, such an approach to education was known to be experimental – only a handful of countries had adopted it. But it had already proved to be such a failure in the US that most states had rejected it, returning instead to a standards based approach, with its focus on subject discipline, academic rigour, more formal methods of teaching, and a clear, concise and teacher-friendly curriculum.

The problem is that by replacing knowledge with skills, students are at risk of leaving school with a range of eclectic proficiencies, but without the basic knowledge to read, write, or calculate properly.

Furthermore, an education system which directs schools to address issues in their own time and in their own way leaves them vulnerable to political manipulation. Ruling parties in a government can represent their political ideology as educational principles or values which schools are then required to teach. Helen Clark’s Labour Government did just that when they embedded policies such as sustainability and social justice into the curriculum.

But it was over the Treaty of Waitangi that the most blatant political manipulation can be seen.

When the draft of the new curriculum was released in 2006 the Treaty of Waitangi had been dropped from the “principles” section. Instead it was referred to in the Social Sciences curriculum under Social Studies, Level five: “the Treaty of Waitangi is responded to differently by people in different times and places”. It was also going to be incorporated into a separate Maori curriculum.

Outrage resulted. At the time, the Minister of Education responded to accusations in Parliament that the Treaty had been dropped from the curriculum by saying, “…it has not been removed. I would also remind the member of four things: one, it is in the Act; two, it is in the goals; three, it is in the guidelines to schools; and, four, it will be embodied in a Maori version of the curriculum next year.”

Nevertheless, protest action followed, led by the Human Rights Commission. They prepared a briefing for use by “organisations, groups and individuals who are making submissions as part of the consultation process”, which called for the Treaty to be reinstated as a principle in the new curriculum and to be included throughout the various learning areas.

As a result of the pressure generated by the Commission, the Green Party, the Maori Party, and others, Labour caved in and the Treaty was given a central role in the new curriculum.

The Purpose and Scope statement of official policy explains that the curriculum will “give effect to the partnership that is at the core of our nation’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi”.

The Vision statement affirms that young people “will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Maori and Pakeha recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring”.

The eight Principles upon which the curriculum is based includes “Treaty of Waitangi: The curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Maori me ona tikanga.”

The Treaty is now interwoven in all subject areas at all curriculum levels. But as if that is not enough, the Maori Party announced last year that as part of their coalition deal with National a stronger Maori focus would be brought into the curriculum by spending $1.6 million over the next three years to strengthen the teaching of Maori history in both primary and secondary schools.

The official promotion of what amounts to Maori supremacy in schools, not only sends a signal to students and their families that the only culture that matters in New Zealand is Maori, but it is in direct conflict to the curriculum’s Cultural Diversity principle, which states, “The curriculum reflects New Zealand’s cultural diversity and values the histories and traditions of all its people.”

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is Tony Sayers, a former primary school principal with extensive experience in teaching at all levels of primary and secondary schooling, who feels very strongly that the Maori influence in education has gone too far. Tony would like to encourage others to speak out and help to build a consensus for change:

“I clearly recall the principal of the school, at which I worked, reporting to the staff about the conference he had attended. He told us that the keynote speaker at the conference, a Maori academic, who had the ear of the Ministry’, advocated that, In the first instance, the curriculum should be written specifically to address the needs of Maori students’.  He also stated that, ‘Non-Maori students would not be disadvantaged because they had traditionally achieved anyway’.

“Hullo! Is this a race-based curriculum? Is this apartheid in the NZ education system? No we are not supposed to call it apartheid in NZ. Oh I am sorry! We are not supposed to challenge any Maori initiatives if you work for the Ministry of Education. It is not written down anywhere, but just watch the ‘inner circle of enlightened teachers’ around you scatter if you dare criticise the current bandwagon. No-one wants to sit at your table for morning tea. They do not want the principal to think that they sympathise with your views. Not a good career move.

“Initially the changes were just to revive the Maori language and culture. No harm there, and it had the goodwill of us all. That went well, so other changes followed. At first they were minor, a process of de-sensitisation, and then changes grew bolder by increments.”

In his article, Tony documents many ridiculous – and some sinister – examples of how the obsession with Maori rights is impacting on teaching and learning in our schools. He finishes with a warning – and a plea:

“Teachers who are currently employed in the system, and have woken up, are reluctant to make a stand under the present political and social climate. The teachers who are retired, are in a position to speak up without damage to their careers. They need to come forward and inform the general public of what has been, and still is, going on. So let’s have a few more retired teachers voice their anecdotes and opinions. If you say nothing, then this manifestation just festers away with dire consequences for the future. This topic needs to gain volume, so that politicians realise that it is an issue that must be addressed.

“By voicing my opinions on this controversial subject, I anticipate a tirade from enlightened, emancipated young teachers, freshly indoctrinated at university, with new world, politically correct and culturally safe views. Yes, I know, if you can’t take the heat then stay out of the kitchen. I am prepared to take the heat, but remember, I was once like you.

“I was not born with opinions, they developed from my real experiences. The examples that have formed my opinions, are far too common to be ignored. If people are too scared to put their head above the parapet, then that is what Maori want. It would be a relief to be proven wrong.”

If you are a teacher, parent, grandparent or anyone who is concerned about the radicalisation of the New Zealand curriculum through the forced teaching of Maori supremacy, then please share your views through the link on the petition page that we set up to oppose the indoctrination of children through schooling. As Tony says, it is only when there is a groundswell of opposing voices that the politicians and the establishment will start to listen.

Meanwhile, the symptoms of a failing education system are starting to show: lower than expected international test scores, school leavers without basic literacy and numeracy skills, increasing numbers of tertiary dropouts, excessive political indoctrination. The government should undertake a comprehensive review of the whole education system, to see whether, like in the US, it is the system itself that is now failing our students and our country – and needs to change.


Would you support a comprehensive review of the education system? 

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


With some industry leaders from outside the education system to be involved. Francis
With out people like you folk as our mentors;where would we be. So, please spread this imformation before its to late. Angus
Absolutely. The results our students are achieving against International parameters says it all. Ronmac
The current system is failing too many people. A return to basics, reading, writing and mathematics would be a good start. Teachers should be assessed on the results that their pupils and achieve and those who turn out pupils who are not achieving should be dismissed. Allan
Are student still being educated? We don’t need anymore computer clones. Elizabeth
As long it is reviewed by people without an agenda to ignore the problems the system has!!! Maddi
It is long overdue. Noel
Yes, and about time. Athol
Maori will not help students to progress in this business orientated world. Charles
I have told my granddaughters parents that at every opportunity I will educate her in the real New Zealand history and not the incorrect myths and propaganda coming from todays schooling. It is not just Maori academics fuelling incorrect information into our society. We have many non-Maori who have been brain washed into believing that New Zealand has let Maori down and we must all accept responsibility to rectify unfortunate past events of previous generations. How far do we turn the clocks back e.g. Polynesian tribal settlers genocide of the Moriori; Polynesian tribal settlers killing and eating other Polynesian tribal settlers; Polynesian tribal settlers killing, raping and eating European settlers; etc? I am a New Zealander and I do not owe any specific ethnic group of this nation an apology for past wrongs. I will endeavour to ensure New Zealand as a nation fosters a united approach to acknowledge all its citizens have equal rights irrespective of their ethnicity. In Paraparaumu we have a Tertiary Institute named Whitireia Community Polytechnic Cabbage (translation of Kapiti spelt with a macron) Campus. In December 2012, local iwi Ngati Toa Rangatira signed their $70 million Treaty settlement where the place name Kapiti (213 instances) does not contain a macron but when ignorant Local Government and Academic officials spell New Zealand place names incorrectly why should we think they are competent enough to educate our children? We struggle to minimise prejudices amongst the human race but at least stand up for the rights of our children to gain literacy, communication and problem solving skills from our schools curriculum. Martin
Put teachers back to teaching instead of “facilitating”. Do not allow kids to progress up a class/year unless they pass a reading, writing and arithmetic standard exam. John
Two new education subjects are vital for the next generation: – 1. Religions of the World (This subject would re-introduce values back into the community and eventually reduce the social costs of the black economy that feeds upon social chaos) 2. Political Economics (This subject would prevent vested interest, career politicians from using propoganda and populist economic policy because the voter has no understanding of basic economics). Frederick
I want my grandchildren to have a good education. I do not think accent on Maori history or language is going to fit them for the modern world. Tony
But only as long as it is about the three R’s and leave out the so called political and racial issues. Bill
The first debate is what is education? What does an educated school leaver need to know to prosper in this day and age. Paul
The international standing of our education system should be enough to force an urgent review by the nation, not just the Educationist Elite. The creeping apartheid within our Education System must make the review mandatory. Michael
Obviously the education system that is used in our schools in not adequate for many of our young people who leave school as failures,many not being able to adequately read and or write after ten to twelve years supposedly learning. There needs to be more focus on the basics i.e reading, writing and mathematics and less on unimportant learning such as alternate languages that most students will never use. There is far to much integration of Maori language in our education system, a dying language which seems to be evolving to suit what ever is needed as time goes forward. Maori is unique to New Zealand true but that is the problem, outside of our country it becomes mute. Our children should be taught life skills at school, how to budget money and how to provide for themselves. Peter
Granddad, you are old fashioned. Well may be I am but the current education system is not about education. It should be done away with and started again from scratch. Education is or should be teaching the three R’s not political claptrap. Johan
Unfortunately, any review will itself be run by the politically-correct, Maori-rights-are-all-that-matter, educational theorists who will probably recommend even more failed approaches to educating children. The education is in a steep, downward spiral of mediocrity and ignorance. The teachers themselves these days are incapable of doing the basics (reading, writing, arithmetic, speaking clearly, etc) – yet they are deemed suitable to pass on their ignorance to the next generation. Gary
I just hope it is not too late. David
The system is failing students and is concentrating on subjects that are of secondary importance rather than enabling students to learn in areas that prepare them for the future. Maori language should be optional not compulsary. Maori culture should take a back seat and NZ history should be the real history not the reinvented version. Judith
The indoctrination at all levels of the Education system is very serious. Even at a tertiary level institutions are asked to ensure improved outcomes for Maori and Pacific students…..why not have them challenged to improve outcomes for all students. Lyn
I have been through the education system, , including teaching. The whole system was a complete shambles ., run by self opinionated persons with little knowledge of imparting knowledge to younger students. Malcolm
Though I answer yes to a review, such a review would need to be open and with out bias. I am fearful that state education has already been captured by the radical left with a strong Maori bias leading to the dumbing down of the state system including integrated schools. The very use of the misnomer of Aotearoa New Zealand is a strong indicator of this as is the use of the word pakeha. Time we as a nation showed some back bone and told the revisionists to read some history look at the facts. If they want to get back and dwell in their pre 1840 stone age paradise do so but don’t expect the rest of the nation to pay for their socialist dream. Michael
We have to get back to the basics of Reading Writing Comprehension and Arithmetic. This will make our base stronger and our youth will be able to make the transition to technology alot easier and with much more success. Get ridf of the pc rubbish and return the Treaty of Waitangi to its dust covered status in a museum glass cabinet. Colin
Any review needs to be done by a group prepared to challenge present thinking (perhaps “unthinking” – because changes have slowly occurred without proper consideration!). Jack
Review long overdue. Jim
Maybe we need two schools – one European and one maori. I would also like to see a united annual NZ day where all races of people celebrate and enjoy our God given country. Kelvin
Needed badly. Don
30 years ago my husband was complaining about the illiterate people applying for jobs in his architectural firm and it seems there is still no improvement. Mary
The education system is broken. My wife is a senior teacher and all her time, including until 8.30 pm every night, is taken up with PC rubbish and less and less time is devoted to actually teaching the three R’s. Not to mention the insidious maorification of the system. Geoff
So-called Tomorrows’ Schools signed the end of previously internationally recognised strong learning achievements in NZ. See PISA results 2000-2012 and I.E.A results 1990 -2012. The NZ public sem to be attracted to poorer learning results. Ray
Gross over emphasis on the minority of Maori matters. David
Time shouldn’t be wasted in schools teaching the likes of maori, if they want to learn it let them do it in their own time. Murray
Too much maori jammed down our kids throats which only divides our nation as a bad form of apartheid. John
Politics, including the Treaty of Waitangi, should be kept out of learning and it certainly sounds as if we need to address core subjects more, if our young are going to leave school, able to read and write. Seems if children cannot reach their full potential at school, many will struggle or fail on entry to the real world. Sue
I agree with your comment re we are not born with opinions it is the experiences and challenges we have been faced with over many years. Ross
The School system clearly has to change. Neil
The overemphasis of newly invented interpretations, myths and historical “facts” about maori stone-age culture seems designed to corrode youthful confidence in the vastly more knowledgeable and civilised european society that built the best of the New Zealand nation. Gordon
Back to truth. We are inundated with misinformation and the lies of political correctness. Jack
The lopsided and irrational emphasis on all things Maori has to be stopped before it goes too far. Maori are EQUAL, and enjoy full equality. To go beyond that is to enter the realm of apartheid. Les
… but only after a clear set of goals are established and ratified. Ian
Difficult to understand how NZers can be so politically blind as to allow our education system to be completely dominated by the will of Maori activists.Time has arrived to wake up!!! Neil
The three “R’s” should be the priority before anything else. Dennis
We need to go back to the 1950’s style curriculum; that was about the last decade when children were being taught meaningful knowledge. teaching stopped after that great educational expert Lange, became Minister of Education. Bob
Go back to core values. Fraser
Yes but how can we guarantee that it will be impartial and not captured by vested interest groups. Ray
Including slanted racial ideas into the education system is a no-no. It will lead to a divided society and ultimately to a kiwi form of apartheid. Brian
But what will this cost and what will it really achieve? Maggie
It’s time that parents rather than ideologues and bureaucrats took at least of measure of control in determining and controlling the curriculum and learning environment in our schools. “The experts know best?” No they don’t. Those of us in teaching have seen the damage they can do. Power without responsibility. I fear that our current crop of politicians would not allow a genuine review of the education system – that it would be stifled by the vested interest groups which have already forced their agenda into our schools. I suggest we need an education revolution rather than a review – one in which schools are given genuine autonomy and where parents rather than bureaucrats have an imput into the curriculum and teaching style of the school. Allow school choice similar to the Swedish model. Do not allow entry into higher education without tangible evidence of minimum standards of numeracy and literacy. It’s a bit late a few weeks later when you find that some newly enrolled students have no idea at all how to organize their thoughts in writing. Finally I suggest that just asking for change is not going to be enough. We need to elect Members of Parliament who will actually listen to us. For decades parents have listened to soothing noises about our “world class” education system. Talk is cheap – if we want results we are going to have to make it happen in a political sense. Denis
Equally importantly; A review by whom? Certainly not by the Constitutional Conversation revisionists. Peter
No forced teaching of Maori in schools. Waste of time for most students. Chris
The education system is failing as one only has to glance at the text spelling that takes place. Keep Maori out of the public/private schooling as that is not going to get any of the school leavers jobs later on in life inless they get a job with some Iwi that survives on hard earened tax payers contributions. Wayne
Long Overdue! Mark
Absolute necessity for a long time – PC and left wing bias from teachers is totally detrimental and a disgrace. Hylton
About time there was return to the old system of School C and University Entrance conducted under the same rules and regulation, including Teacher Training and Equal Employment. Saloum
Maori are singled out for specific focus within our education system, as are Pacifica people. They are the victim of segmentation, not a racial bias. I would much rather segmenting the under-achievers by hair colour or whether they can roll their tongue but unfortunately the common denominator is far too often race, so we need to address that. That doesn’t mean that we need to focus more curriculum time on Maori but, as educators, we need to gain a better understanding about how to teach them. John
I am told that every committee on the Auckland City Council now has two un elected members with full voting rights. This is the same type of influence that is getting into the educational area. It must be stopped! John
Curriculum must focus heavily on the needs of modern students, not on a fading Maori language and past culture. Graeme
We must rid NZ of the Clark era mistakes especially in education. Jim
Most definitely. Alan
Whilst on the subject of indoctrination, I state my view: The Treaty of Waitangi is not New Zealand’s founding document and further, it has no place at all in modern New Zealand. Educationalists need to grasp this detail and stop brain washing our impressionable young kids. Peter
The purpose of schooling should be to teach children the basic skills that will enable them to find things out for themselves when formal education is completed. In other words, learn the abilities required to know what to look for, where to find it and enough basic knowledge to comprehend what they find. The aim should not be to indoctrinate them with political or racist agendas – instead, the end product should be an embryo adult with the ability to think for him/her self. Mitch
This is way overdue! Carolyn
We have to compete internationally with countries that don’t burden their students with progressive claptrap. Lee
Provided it honestly addresses the racial imbalance currently present. Terry
Before its too late. Barbara
A regular review should be conducted. Peter
It’s been a long time coming. Derek
Instead of learning Maori we should concentrate on teaching correct English. Modern grammar and syntax is appalling. Roger
I think it is detrimental to normalise accepting handouts to the point where we are saying people cannot even feed themselves and/or their children. This should be shameful not normal. Claire
The children at schools today are being brain washed into thinking the Maoris in this country are entitled to special privileges and this is the quickest way to get yourself hated. Over 20 years ago I met a Maori on the interisland ferry who said they should burn the Treaty Of Waitangi because it will cause the biggest racial fight in our country. How right he was. This Problem is now well under way due the greedy Elite Maori with their never ending devious ridiculous claims for settlements. Colin
Primary emphasis should be on the 3 communication skills: 1. Verbal communication. 2. Reading/writing. 3. Numeracy. Also, Lots of physical exercise. These are the basic skills for all other learning throughout life. Noel
PC policies re Maori promotion are negative for kids , schools and future of NZ. Reg
I find it quite offensive that a bureaucracy that supposedly supports recognition of a ‘partnership’ between two peoples continually uses the language of one partner to describe the other. Continually describing the non-Maori partner as ‘Pakeha’ shows that the aspiration is not for a partnership of equals, but rather to tip the scales in favour of the new ‘dominant’ party. While there may have been ptroblems int he past, a true partnership would recognise that my perspective and history as a European, coloured by such cultural phenomena as the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the Industrial and Information Revolutions are equally valuable ‘principles’ upon which to base an education system. Bronwyn
The present education systems from basic to tertiary have all been dumbed down and biased towards cultural and political ideals and practices. I believe that we should return to teaching the three “Rs” and world history and geography and then we may have people driving cars on our roads who can count up to 100 and actually read the road code. Peter
Get back to the three “R’s”!!!!! Joe
Changes are being made to the class room layouts and number of children in Large “common Rooms ” which will have a negative impact on the quality of teaching. Pierre
As a former long serving teacher I would welcome a review. Roger
You only have to read the column to understand what an abject failure this system is turning our children into. Total lack of ability to add and solve simple mathematical addition. I was recently in a DIY store, I had used an imperial ruler to measure the length of a gate hinge. When asked to convert it, the reply was we dont do imperial here????? I informed them of the conversion calculation needed. Haven’t got a calculator mate, was the reply. I asked if this was a DIY store. The reply was you got here didnt you. Left empty handed, with a promise that it would indeed be the last time I ‘got’ there. Thanks for the help Mitre 10. Wiremu
Such a review is long overdue. I have seen the things that my grand children have been taught and exposed too and I’m astounded at the blatant bias. David
Our education system has been radicalised by part maori New Zealanders to the point of being aparrheid. Trevor
Totally predictable, dumbing down of standards to appease maoris, and has there been any improvement among maori students, of course not, what would you expect. The maoris pushing their race based claims, and weak politicians supporting them plus of course the left teachers union. David
Too late : permanent damage has been done..this system has already dragged the country down to third world status in education…thanks to the short sighted , vote purchasing policies of labour. Roy
Back to basics for all. Clark
Stop indoctrination, social engineering, and brainwashing of our children in NZ schools. John
Thick, one eyed Kiwis don’t auger well for the future of our country. Mike
Because there is too much Maorification of the curriculam. Schools/universities should be teaching our students world history not just “Maori” modified history of NZ. . Rog
This is long overdue. Lyn
I am sick of the pro maori apartheid in schools. Selwyn
If it is really comprehensive, independent and jargon and PC free! Frank
Biculturalism is a farce and a failure in a multi-cultural society like ours. Paul
Back to the three Rs. Mary
Treaty nonsense in the curriculum is a perversion of our history. Bruce
The review should involve the administrators, those who are (or have been) in the field of education, representatives of parents and any others with an interest in this project. Those in the field should outnumber academics and administrators. The process should be consultative rather than directive. Barry
As a Grandparent of 2 lads aged 12 and 10 I have grave, and I do mean GRAVE concerns about the current anglo-maori biased curriculum; They are bright young lads BUT are at an incredible disadvantage because they are white; I am also appalled at how biased their knowledge is of New Zealand and its beginnings…with this insane emphasis on the anglo-maori are the FIRST peoples….as a 6th generation New Zealander [they are 8th generation] I have spoken with them of the diaries kept when my people first arrived and have been told ‘no, our teachers say this is not so’….. add to this their progress[non] with core subjects in my day and I have to ask ‘what in the name of God is going on in our schools? where will it lead the children of NZ? and how can they hope to achieve when they eventually leave the current curriculum?….speaking with teachers who have been life long friends I find they also have grave concerns as to where we as a country are heading and all, ALL ! are adamant we have an anglo-maori biased apartheid educations system, and country! and why do I refer to ‘anglo-maori’? because there are NO full blooded maori – and a small minority of half blooded maori, and a large percentage of ‘I feel like a maori’ [gravy train!!! $$$]……Apartheid AND education based apartheid is alive and well here – the biased education curriculum frankly scares me with what it is producing….and the garbage being fed our young, especially the ‘we are the first peoples’ [DNA proves they are not and that they came from Taiwan via other lands]…well, no damned wonder we have a screwed up country….. Ellen
If Maoris want to learn their language, and there is enough to fill a classroom at that particular school, then that is all right by me. But get rid of this partnership talk about the Treaty; it was a Merger between two peoples. Eric
Better now than in 5 years time when the next generation moves into the larger working world. Noel
I have had the unfortunate experience of interviewing young people for work positions with nzcea passes. Result! Uneducated, illiterate and unmotivated. Desperately dissapointing considering the amount of taxpayers money going into educating them. Firstly we have to re educate the teachers in the three basic requirements for any employment to succeed for their students. Reading, Writing andArithmetic. Brian
A sad day if apartheid education evolves too far in NZ. John
Our children should be taught the subjects which will enable them to get a job/career. The 3 R’s are deemed to be old fashioned but boy could we read, write and do our sums! Liz
But only if it is REALLY comprehensive! Isa
I taught for 30 years in a private boys school where the staff were given a free reign on teaching subjects, so long as we followed the general line of the curriculum and had the support of parents. Parents expected their sons to receive a basic sound education in the ‘3 R s’ which they did. As the boys passed from my intermediate age level to the secondary classes it gave me great satisfaction to see them placed near the top of their classes and many of them went on to become school prefects and take on responsibilities in the senior school. As an example, I recall having discussions with other staff who advocated the use of calculators, when they were a new gadget. I would not allow their use in my class and taught my class to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Use of a calculator could come later I maintained. I realize it is all changed now but my point is the basics need to be taught. I didn’t teach the Treaty but we did study NZ history in a balanced way without the nonsense of the wrongs done to Maoris by we Europeans. The call ‘back to basics’ has echoed down the ages from the 1950s in my experience and it’s still relevant. Chris
I find it amazing, that the people of NZ, allowed their so-called government to inflict this on them. John
Committee needs to be a cross section and unbiased. Susan
Yes, about time responsability was taught before rights. James
We are not a Maori nation. We are essentially a European culture with a wonderful and unique Maori theme running through it. Over emphasis of that element is counter productive serving only to enrich a few modern Maori ‘princelings’. Geoffrey
The present education system is failing everyone because of its assumption that Maoris are too dumb to learn without special treatment. Most normal Maori people, and by that I mean those not participating in the treaty industry, are also being held back by the “back from the future” attitude being touted.. Maybe more private schools with a curriculum that involves actual literacy and scholarly pursuits are needed. Liz
Why has it taken so long for the National-led govermnent to undo the ideological legacy of the previous Labour-led government? Paul
In desperate need of. Graeme
It is not important, it is vital. Why should a civilised society want to return to the stone-age society life style of a primative culture that was purely tribal, & had not yet invented the wheel? For goodness sake, real Maori have long since moved forward, inter-married with other races, & made successful lives for themselves. Why do the Socialist no hopers insist that we legislate for, & revert back to the very lowest denominators in modern society? The problem we have with Mr nice guy Key, is his eagerness to offend no-one, ensures nothing much changes. Another sad example of this government desperately needing a descent right wing partner.. Allan
But only if it were to be undertaken by a panel led by a British chairperson with knowledge and experience of the U.K. problems and solutions. Graham
There is not one major political party in New Zealand that does not support and encourage the idea of Maori superiority. If you can indoctrinate the children you can change the country forever. John
Tired of racists having a huge influence in our society. W
..totally ban any ‘iwi’ crap from the system… Chris
My daughter is finishing her last yr at teacher training, doesn’t want to hear “the truth” from me, as she wont pass her exams. Nancy
Yes, because it is obviously failing students! Rhys
Since 1987 the education system in this country has had review after review, followed by change after change. In my experience good teachers head off to the more traditional and private schools where they can get on with teaching and avoid much of politicising that goes on elsewhere. Robert
Clearly, as our students are falling well behind other countries as indicated. Cannot add up 2 simple numbers etc, then we are really in trouble. Far too much PC rubbish, no real consequences of not putting in real effort, and students leaving school without enough basic skills to be effective in the work place. A tragedy that will take years to reverse. Hugh
Our slide in international testing results indicates something very wrong with the present system. Changes to the curriculum would indicate that this may be the problem, and need to be addressed by a full inquiry. John
Self evident because of highjack from real facts in front of all realists. Lance
Yes … immediately. Get all this pagan Maori hogwash out of our schools. This brainwashing and rewriting of history is a national disgrace. Flush this crap NOW!!! Steve
Absolutely! National should have replaced the progressive system with a traditional one the moment they took office. Pat
The current education system is a disaster. The sooner it is replaced, the better! Tony
Kids leave school these days without knowing the basics. I think teacher standards are declining but a socialist system can’t be helping either. Brian
Education standards were falling before Labour’s changes. They have just made things worth. Bring in school vouchers and performance pay for teachers and watch standards rise. Stacey
Yes, do what the US did and thrown out this socialist experiment and bring back standards. Geoffrey