Resignation Xmas present for teachers
Wed, 19 Dec 2012 6:04p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
Christchurch teachers fighting to save their schools are calling the Education Secretary's resignation an early Christmas present, but they say the best gift will be when the Education Minister resigns as well.
Lesley Longstone's resignation has given parents at Ouruhia School new hope in the battle to save their school.
“Hopefully they will put someone else in the place that knows what the heck they are doing and keep our school open,” says parent Brenda Kara.
“I'm thrilled by the news and I think it shows there are quite a few errors in the ministry,” says another parent, Angela McDonald.
Ouruhia School is one of 30 in Christchurch earmarked for closure or merger in the Government’s proposed overhaul of the region’s schools.
“The Education Ministry this year has been from one shamble to the next, and in this case one person put their hand up and they've taken responsibility for it,” says the school's principal Mark Ashmore-Smith.
And it's not just Christchurch. Teachers all over the country were affected by the Novopay debacle, and they say Ms Longstone's resignation couldn't come soon enough.
“If you perform that poorly in a position of such responsibility, I think your number’s up pretty fairly early on, especially for such a major cockup that took place,” says Auckland teacher Laurie Powell.
Three-thousand protesters rallied in Christchurch against the ministry in September, and the organiser says now it's the Education Minister's turn to step down.
“Santa's come early, but has given us half a present," says Wayne Hawker. “I think really Lesley could be seen as a scapegoat and the reality is the real person who should resign is Hekia Parata.”
Christchurch teachers will go on strike early next year.
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20/12/2012 7:22:08 a.m.
This is the worst government for accountability and stuff ups. If each minister was held to account and relieved of their portfolios there would be no ministers left to run them. Time for an election. I hope this time the people vote.
20/12/2012 12:32:17 a.m.
Parata needs to go and, rightfully, should go. This bumbling idiot has no idea of what she is doing. Bringing all this extremely stressful upheaval to a city that lies scarred and battle weary, but not only to the city of Christchurch, but to the children. "Normal" kids would suffer, but kids with special needs have the potential to go completely off the rails when faced with such overwhelming stress and change. To me, that is abuse of severly vulnerable chldren. Parata needs to go. Our poor teachers are facing a hell Christmas with little to no EARNED money. They are being forced to work for, basically, nothing. And yes, they are being forced, it is work or the kids cant go to school, that is not a choice nor an option.
She has kicked these kids, their families and the teachers and communities while they are down and struggling to get back on their feet. Secure (as much as possible) routines are essential to a special needs childs life, kicking them out of town, or trying to, is revolting. Oh, and another thing, intellectually delayed teens (esp) are, sometimes/often nable to have close contact with the opposite sex, like they would have to if forced to merge. Sometimes this issue is because of abuse, sometimes just hormones and not being able to deal with all that these hormones bring. I am so glad the schools have won this first battle. Again, parata MUST go. She is a disgrace, a bully, and, a sociopath. Get her out!
19/12/2012 10:27:26 p.m.
"Christchurch teachers say the best gift will be when the Education Minister resigns as well." Oh really. Aren't we forgetting here just who runs the state education system. Its not the teachers but the elected Government. The government formulates education policy and is responsible for its application. Teachers don’t tell the government how education will be applied, they are hired to deliver the policy and programmes of an elected government. Of course teachers may suggest, debate and become involved in developing new policy but at the end of the day they are there as employees of the government that sets out the rules of their employment.
19/12/2012 7:42:44 p.m.
Hekia Parata and the National Govt need to take responsibility for the screw-ups in the case of Novopay and the badly conceived plan to amalgamate smaller schools into several big schools, nothing but chaos. No amount of PR from the Nats will undo this harm. Citizens need to take back control of their community in order to maintain democracy.
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