Education Minister Hekia Parata says New Zealand’s educational standards are slipping when compared to the rest of the OECD nations.
Speaking on the eve of a major education conference in Turkey, Parata says the country’s education system is performing “less and less well”, which is a politically-correct (although grammatically dodgy) way of saying our educators are performing poorly.
“This is a forum to share good practice and discuss challenges faced by leading education systems across the world.
“New Zealand’s education system is performing less and less well next to other OECD countries. We must increase our system performance and increase the equity in the system as the benefits to the students themselves and to the economy are significant.
“Raising our performance means focussing more determinedly on a system level shift to deliver for all. While our system produces some of the best students in the world, it also produces some of the least successful.
“The meeting is a very good opportunity for Ministers to learn from each other. I am very focused on the characteristics of top performing systems, and understanding how we can improve ours, particularly in how we lift up those who are falling behind while continuing to challenge those who are already doing well to do even better.
“New Zealand has some successful models to offer also, particularly the innovative and flexible approach we are taking to vocational pathways and transitions from senior secondary to training, employment and further education.
“I have been asked to chair two sessions on ‘How can the education system develop relevant skills and competencies?’ and ‘What can education ministers do to achieve a better match between the supply and demand for skills?’”
“It is an opportunity to discuss the key findings of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills, a survey in which New Zealand will participate in the near future,” says Ms Parata.
“This is also a timely opportunity to showcase New Zealand as the host country for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession (Summit) next year in March.”