Opunake Coastal Column - Building our teaching workforce for Kiwi kids
We all remember our favourite teacher, and I think most people can think of story about a moment that teacher had an impact on their lives.
Teachers are a vital part of not only education, but in helping to shape someone’s outlook in life. I remember choosing teaching as my first profession and loved my time teaching in South Taranaki and hopefully I had a positive impact on young people’s lives. It was a real blast when I was visiting the Hutt Valley Gun Club recently, as part of the Law and Order Committee’s inquiry into firearms in New Zealand, and met one of my past students there. He seemed to have survived and done well over the years.
I’m a big fan of teachers. National wants to support Kiwi teachers, as we recognise the important role they play in our children’s lives.
Right now we have enough teachers overall, but they are not necessarily in the areas or subjects we need them in. So we’re investing more than $9 million over four years to help address teacher supply pressures.
Part of this investment will be an extra 100 Teach NZ Scholarships worth $1.8 million per year for science, technology, and maths subjects to lift the number of graduates in these areas by the end of 2017. We know these scholarships have a proven record of quickly boosting numbers of teachers in particular teaching areas.
Another solution is expanding both national and international recruitment options. We going to increase our investment in these recruitment campaigns from $220,000 to about $1 million, and we’re launching a new recruitment campaign focused on bringing Kiwi teachers back home.
To support our recruitment of science, technology and maths teachers we’re going to invest in promoting teaching as a career to tertiary science, technology and maths students. This will begin now, so that people finishing their qualifications this year can consider it as one of their options.
Working with the education sector, we are focused on ensuring we have the teachers our students need and the support to keep both engaged. Ensuring every child gets a good education is one of the most important things we can do to help our young people be engaged, love learning, succeed in choosing a career that will raise their living standards, and enable them to be positive members of our communities.