NZI on education system

Simon Collins at the NZ Herald reports:

A leading think tank has slammed New Zealand’s system for producing disadvantaged youth who are worse off than in any other developed country.

On average our students do well. But our “tail” is known to perform worse than almost all other OECD countries.

The business-backed New Zealand Institute, which has focused until now on economic policy, says the education system has lost sight of the need to keep young people engaged in school and transition successfully into work.

It recommends radical reforms including widespread use of computer-based e-learning, putting students on to pathways to work from the first year of intermediate school (Year 7), giving employers more input into what schools teach and giving all students career advice through school years and support after leaving school.

I hope the Government take the report and recommendations seriously.

The institute believes e-learning can reduce boredom by giving students personal links with teachers and global audiences for their work. At Auckland’s decile 1 Pt England School, with 93 per cent Maori and Pacific students, Mubasshira Mehter’s blog has been viewed by 17,452 people in 125 countries.

“People can see our work and what we’ve been doing around our school,” said Mubasshira, who is 12.

Five local primary schools have joined Tamaki Intermediate and Tamaki College in the Manaiakalani (“Hook from Heaven”) Trust, which carries the credit risk for parents to buy $400 notebook computers for their children at $15 a month for three years, including an internet connection and technical support.

Pt England principal Russell Burt said the schools used new media as “the hook of engaging students”.

And that is very much the future. Every three year old should have an iPad as a learning and development tool.

The NZI report is here.

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