Increased investment in teacher training welcomed

NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes the Government’s announcement this morning that it is investing more into teacher training, but warns that the teacher shortage will only be addressed in the long-term by making teaching a sustainable and attractive profession.

“We are really happy the Government is taking this step to increase funding and incentives for teacher training, particularly the emphasis on developing skilled te reo Māori teachers,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart.

“But the announcement doesn’t address the underlying causes of the teacher shortage, which is that teachers are underpaid and overworked. Simply speaking, teaching needs to be a sustainable and attractive profession if we are to attract and retain teachers.”

Ms Stuart says while the announcement will certainly be a topic of conversation among primary school members at next week’s paid union meetings, it doesn’t change the immediate situation that primary teachers and principals find themselves in.

“For the sake of our education system, and the sake of our children and future generations to come, today’s announcement will only make a difference if it is coupled with a meaningful improvement in teachers’ pay and workload, which is what our current campaign is all about,” she says.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is also disappointed to see training for early childhood teachers isn’t included in this morning’s announcement, particularly given the Government’s commitment to have 100 percent of early childhood teachers qualified.