Improving Situation For Schools In Mangere And Otara

  • Wyatt Creech

The Minister of Education today welcomed the Education Review Office's report on schooling in Mangere and Otara and the acknowledgement of the gains that have been made in those schools since 1996.

"Considerable work has been done on the ground in the schools since the Government announced its response to ERO's first report in last year's Budget.

"In general the community and school management are working well to lift the standards and quality of education provided to students at the schools," Mr Creech said.

The Minister said he was pleased ERO recognised that the AIMHI project was working for schools, and that the performance management systems, the delivery of the curriculum and the use of direct resourcing was also helping lift the quality of education.

"We are addressing problems that have developed over many many years. They can not be turned around overnight, but I am pleased with the overall progress that is being made.

"The ERO report acknowledges the steps that have been taken and the basic building blocks that have been put in place. Considerable progress is being made to getting solutions that last the test of time. One off quick hit actions won't work. The Government and the Education Ministry is committed to continuing to build on the gains that have been made.

"The Government has always said it will not write out blank cheques for these schools. Schools need to be very clear about what is needed to get better educational results and to develop lasting solutions. The solutions will require community and parental involvement as well as linking in with early childhood education.

"All the interventions and policies being put in place are designed to improve the working and learning environment for students. The better a school becomes and the better learning environment that is produced the more attractive it will be for students and staff.

"The updated ERO report provides further ideas and areas where improvements can be made and I will be considering them very carefully, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and the Strengthening Education in Mangere and Otara team," Mr Creech said.

"I am very conscious of the concerns ERO raises about transience and the impact on student's education. As a community and a society parents need to know that upping and leaving an area and pulling a child out of a school can have very serious ramifications on a child's education.

"I am very optimistic for the schools and students in the Mangere and Otara communities and will continue to work vigorously for long term and long lasting improvements to the education on offer.

"I believe that the improvements being made in the schools will have a snowballing effect - once initial improvements are made and community networks, trust and confidence developed it will be easier and quicker to build on these advances," Mr Creech said.