PTTA president opens annual conference

Press Release – PPTA

President Robin Duff opened PPTA’s annual conference saying the problems highlighted by protest action against the global financial system were echoed in the funding of New Zealand’s public secondary education. PTTA president opens annual conference.

President Robin Duff opened PPTA’s annual conference saying the problems highlighted by protest action against the global financial system were echoed in the funding of New Zealand’s public secondary education.

“How is it that after all the excess, greed and huge government bailouts that the debt crisis had been reconstructed as the responsibility of the public sector?” asked Duff.

“Is it really credible that teachers, nurses, policemen and civil servants are to be made scapegoats for the antics and excess of the financial community?”

Duff said education had not received the funding it deserved and money had been stripped out of secondary school operations grants in order to fuel tertiary sector marketing aimed at secondary school students.

“This is a good example of why we are calling for a consensus approach to education,” he said.

“Teachers want their schools to be well funded and set up as pleasant places to work and learn. Teachers want pay that reflects the value of their job and an amount high enough to retain them.”

“We want to see political forces combine to implement evidence-based policy that is shown to be suitable in New Zealand.”

Duff said PPTA had launched a paper calling for an end to the political ping-pong in education.

“Evidence-based decision making is a popular phrase but there are few signs the government ever applies it to our education system.”

“We have a regrettable tendency in New Zealand to treat education like a sports fixture. We pick the teams and line up for a good stoush and then assess the winners, losers and injuries: PPTA versus Trevor Mallard; Anne Tolley versus NZEI; tertiary providers versus secondary schools and so on,” he said.

Duff asked how New Zealand could ever benefit from a process that involved the regular denigration of public teachers and schools?”

“How does it help students’ confidence and enthusiasm for learning if education is constantly treated as a political sports fixture,” he asked.

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