The Dim-Post

October 21, 2012

Education Minister fails to learn from extremely recent history

Filed under: education — danylmc @ 8:48 am

Stuff reports:

Children could be forced into “double-bunked” mega schools under Education Act changes.

One of the country’s biggest schools is already considering its options after changes that allow boards to set new start times – meaning they could offer morning and afternoon programmes from the same school, effectively doubling student numbers.

No prizes for guessing which government department dreamed up this idea. ‘If we have one group of students learning from 5 AM until 1 PM, and a second group learning from 2 PM until 8 PM, we double the education system’s asset utility ratio! Who could object to that?’


  1. And in this current economic environment, teachers will welcome the extra wages from 15 hours of contact time per school day, as it it will maximise their financial benefit from their training and registration. They will have to work all weekend to catch up on all the marking and assessment, but what’s another ten ot twenty hours on top of the 75 working during the week. Amirite?


    Comment by Fooman — October 21, 2012 @ 9:00 am

  2. Some schools did this post-earthquake as an EMERGENCY MEASURE because of damage and loss of services in East Chch. It required huge inconvenience for pupils and their families. The pupils spent hours every day on buses, and had trouble adjusting their body clocks to the school “shifts”. Working parents had to fit in with hours that never matched an ordinary workday. It was a NIGHTMARE.

    After a major disaster, we make do. But no one in their right mind would ever suggest this for ordinary times.

    Comment by Lilith — October 21, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  3. And the perfect use for classrooms after school hours is community night classes – benefiting the whole community and bringing people together.

    Comment by Lilith — October 21, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  4. or ooh maybe teachers can be employed part-time to make up extra hours, rather than full-time, and paid accordingly. that will definitely attract high caliber staff to the role. on the other hand, maybe these hours could make it easier for some parents to work? for example it might be easier to be on time to work if your kids started at 5 am rather than 8.30. not sure what you’d do in the afternoon however…

    Comment by lucyjh — October 21, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  5. One would think that the priority was making sure everyone who works for the Ministry of Ed actually gets paid.

    I know it’s a big ask. Smart Payroll anyone?

    Comment by K — October 21, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  6. The quotes in that article by the University of Auckland Professor of Education are a stinging critique of the governments repeated failures in education policy. The kind of critique that you’d expect to be coming from say an opposition education spokesperson…

    Comment by Richard 29 — October 21, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  7. The payroll system couldn’t cope.

    Comment by Dv — October 21, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  8. What a joke. Getting teenagers to school by 6:30am (or whatever dreamy hour they hour propose) is an impossibility. Even the teachers I know don’t usually enjoy arriving at work before 8am for a morning start.

    This has to have been thought up by the pointy-heads in Treasury. Nobody else in New Zealand is that stupid.

    Comment by George D — October 21, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

  9. There does need to be some cohesion in the hours a school is open for teachers and pupils,parents
    to suggest morning and afternoon hours is ridiculous,left out of the equation is family life,or does that
    not exsist in the eyes of the nact govt,it only exsists if you are a politician,time with family is missing
    in nz and has steadily declined since we have 24/7 shopping etc,this education policy is nuts.
    Ok,so lets look at the intermediate and high schools,those students go through a growth spurt,sleep
    is a much needed commodity,so those students could do with a later start time, say 11 am- 4pm,but
    that’s it,why cause huge chaos when none is required.
    This nact govt has thrown a granade into the guts of nz and its sending shockwaves at every single
    consumer need,they need their heads examined, if they can remember they have one.

    Comment by anne — October 21, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  10. Sounds like a haphazard semi-attempt to cram as many sardines into the can as possible. What about not doing this, and instead restructuring the education system, so students finish High school sooner but with the same, if not better, quality of education? This would mean one time schedule, like we have now, but possibly longer hours (maybe an hour longer each day), so that High school consists of four years (like other western countries) instead of our current maximum of five.

    Comment by Dan — October 21, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  11. Actually shifting school hours have been discussed for years in Auckland, by councils both left and right, as a way of easing peak hour traffic flows.
    Suppose you don’t have such issues in small towns like Wellington.

    Comment by gn35 — October 21, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  12. Satrire tags, Danyl, satire tags. Oh.

    Actually, while most commenters so far seem to think Ministry of Ed have lost their marbles (and I initially agreed), I am now inclined to think this is far more serious. This seems to be classic Roger Douglas ‘Blitzkreig’ tactics, which is what Prof. O’Connor hinted at when he said “…what the Government tends to do with education policy is release it, scare everyone, and then work out the details.”

    The premise seems to be part of the wider libertarian capitalist agenda to shatter any common values in society, such as school start and end times. Sure it lets greedy Napoleonic principals stuff more shifts of kids in for greater revenue for their petty empire (while cutting MinEdu school capex), but it’s primary purpose appears to be to keep the working class constantly rattled and disconcerted by altered societal realities.

    By individualising every aspect of society – even school start and end times – the libertarian capitalists destroy any ability to analyse and compare how your situation compares with your neighbour.

    Rates went the same way when they shifted from section size or land value to capital value; people’s capital values vary so much even within a neighbourhood, that it becomes hard to dispute the claimed ‘low rates rise’ of a council even when you and everyone you know (in normal suburbs) get rises far above the claimed average.

    Discombobulate the populace, to undermine resistance. Then sell them private (education, security, pension, health, etc) schemes, to salve their fear that they may be sub-normally achieving. Keeps ’em aspirational.

    We need better democracy.

    Comment by bob — October 22, 2012 @ 12:21 am

  13. Singapore had afternoon and morning secondary schools when I lived there in the 80s and 90s. I always thought it was due to land constrictions, but perhaps it was originally for economic reasons. Apparently most schools now operate one school day as it is better for students, families and teachers. MoE might like to do a little research on the reasons for change.

    Comment by KH — October 22, 2012 @ 4:49 am

  14. MoE might like to do a little research on the reasons for change.

    “Research? Pah, we don’t need no stinking research.”

    Comment by TerryB — October 22, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  15. Our research systems are actually extremely valid and have the strong fragrant perfume of Kiwi ingenuity. Don’t forget that, Terry B

    Firstly, it involves asking the Leader of the House permission to leave to go to the Parliamentary library and table up documents that agree with the conclusion you want to present. Now that’s all fine, it’s been done by Winston for several hundred decades, I guess the only thing a bit on the shady side here is the time spent devouring M’cDonald’s before and sometimes after tabling the phony documents.

    Next, it involves consulting with the public to see what they want. On the generous side, this could last two weeks. Hone Harawira’s relatives are contracted at the same time, in a totally unrelated issue, to go and collect the ‘debts’ of the people who, very coincidentally, do not agree with the conclusion we want to present.

    Lastly, we make bribes and we take bribes. Now this doesn’t have to make any sense what-so-ever, it’s simply called an ending tradition and is well ingrained in this lovely country of ours. Aotearoa.

    Then we simply go to the pub to pluck up some dutch courage for when we present our research in Parliament the next day. Note: if this process (ending tradition and dutch courage gathering excluded, for these are important sacred rituals and must never be undermined) takes longer than a month, you are regarded as incompetant and could be asked to sit in the row behind you for a day or two to think about what a drain you are on the government’s money by not being efficient.

    Comment by Dan — October 22, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  16. More investigations wont make the nact govt any more aware of what the pubilc of nz
    wants in the education system,it is all pre-determined,the law says they have to ‘consult’
    they only salute the consultation process while knowing that they have made the decision
    anyway,its called ‘covering their treacherous arses’ look at the ‘green paper’ it turned
    into the ‘white paper’ the contents were ‘far removed’ from the authors of the ‘green
    paper’ the ‘green’ authors were stunned,this is only one example of the nacts taking
    away whatever they like and twisting it into their own pathetic ideas.

    Comment by anne — October 22, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  17. MoE might like to do a little research on the reasons for change.

    They have looked at the same robust body of research that pointed towards National Standards/Charter Schools/Christchurch “consultation” being a really good idea.

    Comment by Neil — October 22, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  18. MoE might like to do a little research on the reasons for change.

    You mean the type of data gathering that has taken place with the proposed mergers/closures of ChCh schools?
    Yeah, that’ll help.

    Comment by K — October 23, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  19. One advantage would be to get the bloody crazy numbers of cars off the road with over protective mothers driving their over protected kids to school.

    Comment by barry — October 24, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  20. Yeah fuck those mothers, selfish cows caring for their children.

    Comment by Bob — October 24, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

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