Idiot in charge of education | The Jackal

31 May 2012

Idiot in charge of education

Minister for Education and all round fashion disaster Hekia Parata has undertaken a huge flip-flop concerning policy changes outlined in National's zero budget.

After copping flak about increased class sizes, which will result in fewer teachers, Parata now claims that there will be a transition period paid for by a mystical contingency fund and no school will lose more than two teachers.

Today, One News reported:

PPTA President Robin Duff said the cuts amounted to a $300 million claw back of school staffing over the next five years.

He said technology education would take a hit in particular.

"Subject options will have to be cut and area schools and junior high schools will no longer be able to function the way they were designed to operate."

The Government has already altered its original policy this week and said that no more than two full-time teaching staff would be lost at any school in the next three years.

Duff rejects Parata's claim that the fewer cuts was "good news".

"Losing one teacher is a bad thing for any school, losing two will be a disaster for most."

Duff said arguments that the cuts were designed to improve teacher quality were "fundamentally dishonest" as the evidence showed Treasury and Government had been preparing for them since well before the 2011 election.

It's completely ludicrous that Parata thinks cutting teacher numbers is somehow a positive thing, when every study shows that fewer students per teacher equals better outcomes.

This clearly shows that National is not undertaking their budget cuts with appropriate care and they simply don't give a damn about the effects of their badly researched austerity measures.

Here's what the idiot Minister of Education said on Tuesday:

Iain Lees-Galloway: How is it fair for small intermediate schools to lose the same number of teachers as large intermediate schools, which is what her new, ad hoc plan that she made up on the way to the House will implement?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: We wrote on Budget day to all schools, telling them that a transition plan would be put into place and that we would work with each of them. In the interests of providing certainty now, we have provided the guarantee that no school will lose more than two full-time teacher equivalents, and 90 percent will not lose any more than one full-time teacher equivalent. This is good news.

Yesterday, Parata again tried to avoid answering direct questions on the matter, but eventually confirmed that she did not have advice concerning the impact on specific schools.

Having to make changes to and effectively re-write the budget before the inks even dry is gross incompetence that only a National government could display.

Hekia Parata doesn't even know how many teachers overall will lose their jobs because of National's destructive policy changes, yet can still claim that teaching outcomes are going to improve.

No wonder teachers and parents are up in arms.