As I write this, the Better Funding, Better Learning tour continues around the country. The focus is to highlight the issues that are being faced by our schools, kura and early childhood services as we see the lack of funding impact on our children, our support staff, teachers and leaders. You are telling your stories to local media and politicians and that has had a real effect on listeners and highlights the realities of the current situation. This will continue as we move towards a general election and is an opportunity to keep education and what matters for our kids in the forefront of everyone’s mind.
I started by visiting Kaikoura, Ward and Seddon and was amazed at the resilience of the educators working in the schools and centres there. They are the hub of their communities and are committed to ensuring that the children and their families are well supported through these difficult times.
I also accompanied Phil Riley as he met principals and sector leaders about the Principals Health and Wellbeing survey. The results were not a surprise but are of huge concern. (See story on pages 20-22 of this issue of Education Aotearoa.)
Paid Union Meetings for our support staff and kindergarten colleagues have been held. One thing is clear – without a funding jolt in to the sector, we will not be able to meet the needs of our students or educators. It is time the Ministry of Education realised that it is not sustainable to continue to rely on the goodwill of the sector. Our support staff and kindergarten teachers must be paid fairly and equitably.
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei
Seek that which is most precious, if you shall bow down, let it be to a lofty mountain.