Sometimes accountability means resignations.

It is now widely known that our education system is a mess and many schools – etc – are simply not fit for purpose.

When questioned in the House on Term 1 attendance figures Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti deflected by saying that it is Term 2 figures that matter and will show the effects of government policy.

Well … the Term 2 statistics are out today and are much worse.

  • less than 40% of students regularly attending across all deciles.
  • decile 1 full attendance at 23.4%.

Tinetti blames covid but Asian full participation is above 50% whereas Maori or Pasifika is at 27% or less. Is covid that racist?

This is a monumental failure that should result in Tinetti’s resignation and those at the top of the Ministry of Education whose email footnote states: “We shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes.”

Add to this the results from the new NCEA Literacy and Numeracy credit that show just 2% of Decile 1 students passing the writing standards. Keep in mind that this is after approximately 12,000 hours of funded schooling per student. 33% of Maori students are leaving school in South Auckland without even Level 1 NCEA.

It is time for all parents across NZ to ask the hard questions about school leadership, school quality, teacher quality and to demand a LOT better.

And how trivial for the ERO to says that schools should make attending more “enjoyable” (aka fun). How about – inspirational, aspirational, high quality, demanding … Is it any wonder NZ’s school attendance is at least 15% behind Australia’s.

Additional note that is simply stunning: “It does appear there’s a bit of a problem that we’ve got to address,” said Vaughan Couillault from the Secondary Principals’ Association.

Alwyn Poole

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