Rally for Education in Christchurch

By Michael Edmonds 22/09/2012

At lunchtime today, Christchurch residents will rally to show this disappointment and concern over recent proposals by the government to close or merge some schools around Christchurch.

Those of us who work in education realise that in our sector the only constant is change. However, any change should involve improvements in education. Change also needs to be transparent and consultative to reduce stress for all involved. The recent proposal for change made by this government/Ministry of Education have been neither transparent nor consultative. They also appear to be purely driven by economics with no consideration for educational quality or the stress these changes are creating on Christchurch residents.

It has been suggested that these changes are being tested out on Christchurch, as a prelude to closing and merging other schools around New Zealand. After having other educational policies such as larger class sizes and charter schools rejected, this government have decided a city hammered by earthquakes over the past two years might be a push over. I think they are about to find out that we are not.

If you can’t make it to the rally, please lend your support by joining the Facebook group “Protect Education in Christchurch” and encourage others to join. This is a fight we can’t afford to lose in Christchurch or wider New Zealand. Cut price education will not get us out of our economic doldrums.


0 Responses to “Rally for Education in Christchurch”

  • You’re spot on, Michael – definitely neither consultative (but then, we’ve seen how this government ‘consults’ before). One story on RNZ yesterday said that one of the mergers would see multiple schools ending up on a 15ha campus – is that correct? I can’t see how taking primary school children from their small(ish) local school & putting them into a set-up like that is going to be good for their education. Or for their communities, given how much local communities make of their schools’ facilities after hours.

    Have ‘liked’ your FB group.

  • Hi Alison,
    It is very hard tracking down what the details are around the various mergers etc.
    I agree that it may be necessary to merge some schools with low roles but a colleague pointed out that some schools are in locations that in winter are cut off from other areas due to ice which results in treacherous driving conditions.
    I think there are possibly educational opportunities in restructuring schools in Christchurch but that needs consultation with the people working at the coal face (i.e. teachers) as well as with parents and students.