Draft education renewal programme for greater Christchurch released

  • Hekia Parata
  • Steven Joyce
Education Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

The Education and Tertiary Education Ministers have today released a draft programme to guide the renewal of the education network in greater Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes.

“Directions for Education Renewal in Greater Christchurch” is the result of several months of engagement with education leaders, teachers, young people, business leaders, stakeholders, and Ngāi Tahu.

It outlines a number of proposals which could change the way education is delivered in the greater Christchurch area.

Among the ideas being proposed is the establishment of education campuses which would see tertiary education, schools, early childhood education and social services on a single site, and the introduction of more flexible learning spaces that could be configured to suit different types of teaching and learning.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says central and local government have worked tirelessly with the education sector to minimise the disruption and restore services to the community since the first earthquake.

“It is clear, however, that given the extent of the damage and the population movement that the sector cannot be returned to how it was,’’ Ms Parata says.

“Therefore we have an opportunity to address the inequalities and ensure we have a locally relevant yet best practice education system that equips all learners with the knowledge and skills to be successful citizens in the 21st century.’’

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce says “Directions for Education Renewal in Greater Christchurch” places considerable emphasis on the relationship between education and the regional economy.

“Tertiary education has a key role to play in supporting recovery both economically and socially,” Mr Joyce says.

“It will be key to providing the skills and knowledge needed to help get greater Christchurch back on its feet and to grow and prosper.’’

The draft programme proposes supporting and strengthening tertiary education institutions’ (TEIs) to build on areas that are economically important such as engineering and agriculture, sharing of tertiary facilities and better collaboration between TEIs and businesses to improve the understanding of each other’s needs.

“It is an investment in the futures of our children and young people,” Mr Joyce says.

“Directions for Education Renewal in greater Christchurch” is available online at shapingeducation.minedu.govt.nz. Submissions open on May 11 and close on May 31 2012. An implementation plan will then be developed.