Primary teachers to discuss concerns on Monday

More than 1000 primary teachers will voice their concerns when they meet to discuss the Government's education agenda in Dunedin's Regent Theatre on Monday.

They will be among thousands of primary teachers nationwide who will have similar meetings during the next two weeks.

New Zealand Educational Institute national president Ian Leckie said there was very real concern the Government's policies would damage the quality of the country's public education system.

These issues were being raised by teachers as part of their current collective agreement talks with the Ministry of Education, he said.

"The ministry has made an offer which we believe is linked to a business model of education driven by cost-cutting and competition.

"What's at stake here is our world-renowned public education system, based on equity and providing good education for all children."

Mr Leckie said the Government's policies were based on an agenda known as the Global Education Reform Movement (Germ) which had already failed to improve pupil learning in other countries.

The ideologically driven policies were based around competition, databased accountability, standardisation and supposed choice.

"We're seeing Germ creeping into our education system here through National Standards, league tables and charter schools and proposals of performance pay for teachers.

"These offers are not just an attack on teachers but the whole of our education system as we know it," he said.

As well as meetings throughout the country, there will also be a series of larger gatherings in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.

A demonstration was expected to be held in the Octagon on Monday afternoon after the meeting in the Regent Theatre.




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