Next steps crucial to success of education strategies

Detail, delivery and dedicated resourcing: these factors will determine whether the transformational education strategies released today achieve their goals, says Melanie Webber, President of PPTA Te Wehengarua.

“The Literacy, Communication and Maths Strategy and Hei Raukura Mō Te Mokopuna make for truly exciting reading, describing the kind of education system that all teachers want for our ākonga. We haven’t had a literacy or maths strategy for 20 years so we commend the government for these blueprints. They are sorely needed.” 

The strategies aim to give ‘all learners every chance to experience success’ all the way through their schooling and delivering a curriculum that ‘sustains learners’ identities, languages and cultures’.  “Every teacher wants to be in an environment where we can enable every student to fulfil their potential and soar. 

“We applaud the purpose of ‘Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna’ to address inequity and enable mokopuna Māori to succeed, particularly through the use of local language - te reo Māori - that enables stronger connections between whānau, iwi and hapu with kura. The development of local language in kura enables authentic success for mokopuna Māori.

“Making literacy and communication and numeracy more relevant, meaningful and reflective of real-life for all ākonga, particularly those whose needs are not being met well at the moment, is something every teacher would endorse wholeheartedly. 

“We are delighted to see the strategies mention the need for appropriate systems to ensure that learning is assessed and evaluated all the way through from early childhood. Tragically, too many students arrive at secondary school without basic reading, writing and maths skills.” 

A report released this week included National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) 2019 data which found that only 63% of Year 4 and 56% of Year 8 students were ‘at or above’ the expected level of reading proficiency. The number of Year 4 students at or above the expected level of writing was 63%, dropping to only 35% of students by Year 8.

“The strategies released today will help ensure future students achieve their potential, but with new literacy and numeracy standards coming into NCEA, and several years of Covid disrupted learning, it is critical that schools receive the support they need now to ensure that students currently in the system can also  achieve to their potential.”

Melanie Webber says the strategies also identified the need for Initial Teacher Education to have a stronger focus on literacy and communication and numeracy, and the need for high quality, cohesive and accessible professional leadership and development for teachers. 

“The strategies talk a lot about supporting educators, young people, schools and kura. This support, along with detailed action plans, timely and effective delivery and dedicated resourcing, is crucial for ensuring that the strategies do indeed reduce educational inequities, lift achievement and give all young people in Aotearoa the best life chances.” 

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 April 2022 12:13