Some welcome observations are made by the NZ Herald today on the matter of teacher qualifications, teacher training and the huge demand for preschool education.
The newspaper’s editorial reminds us that Education Minister Anne Tolley says increased participation is her highest priority for the sector. But if the Education Ministry’s qualification target is not modified, there will be a shortfall of between 1500 and 2600 teachers next year.
Some centres likely will have to close, some will turn children away because they do not have enough teachers, others will face financial problems because “unqualified” staff will not be funded.
Trouble is, some experienced teachers – despite their degrees – will be biffed out because they don’t have the qualifications being demanded by the ministry mandarins. Just to meet a bloody target they have set.
Hence the Herald advises –
Given the staffing shortages, it would be rash to dispense with experienced and capable teachers in pursuit of a contrived target. They should be given an incentive to retrain, including working while studying, and more students should be encouraged to enter the sector. If so, the ministry’s target and a higher standard of preschool education will eventually be realised far more easily.
Couldn’t agree more.
But it’s worth adding that – for kids of the age we are talking about – teachers skilled at changing dirty nappies are probably a helluva lot more useful than teachers full of fancy ideas drummed into them at university.