The Auditor-General has confirmed the National Government is mismanaging the tertiary education sector in a highly critical select committee report released today, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says.
“The public watchdog was been highly critical of the Tertiary Education Commission at select committee. It says it could not be satisfied TEC’s books were in order and issues a rare highly ‘qualified’ audit opinion.
Labour is calling on universities, polytechnics and wananga to stop so-called “whitestreaming”, where specialist Māori jobs and services are replaced by generalist positions, Labour’s Māori Education spokesperson Adrian Rurawhe says.
“A new report by the Tertiary Education Union has found every university in New Zealand, most polytechnics and even one wānanga has cut jobs that support Māori students.
After a damning review and years of warnings about inequities in NCEA exam support, the Education Minister must ensure there is funding in this year’s Budget to fix the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“New figures published today show more than 100 high schools didn’t make any applications for their students for special help for NCEA exams through the Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) programme.
Students are paying the cost of National's educational failure with $120 million still in the bank that should've been spent on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The two biggest contributors to education under-spends in recent years have been the failure of National’s flagship 'expert teacher' plan (the IES) and their failure to get in top of the emerging crisis in special needs education.
The National Government’s refusal to even ask how many schools are charging illegal fees for entering prospective students into out-of-zone enrolment ballots is breathtakingly arrogant, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Hollow words about asking the Education Ministry to work with the schools who have already been caught charging these illegal fees mean nothing, given two of these schools have already indicated they won’t stop this practice.
Labour today asked the Auditor-General to investigate the legality of state schools charging fees for students to go into out-of-zone enrolment ballots, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Three Auckland schools have now acknowledged engaging in this practice and it could be much more widespread.
Four charter schools were paid $60,000 in performance bonuses last year despite only one of them fully complying with their contract, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act show Education Minister Hekia Parata was advised that three of the four schools had failed to meet all their obligations, but she gave them bonuses anyway.
Charging parents to enter their kids in school enrolment ballots is unfair and further undermines the principle of a free school education, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The whole point of out-of-zone ballots is to ensure that extra places in those schools are allocated fairly. By introducing a fee, the schools are saying that a parent’s ability to pay will have an impact on the type of education their child will receive. That's just not right.