Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: "The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts"

9 Responses

  • Sacha,

    Our Giovanni Tiso offers a current example.

    Critical failures of basic care, such as the cell that remained in full use at Miramar Central School for the past 13 years, are regarded as abnormalities to be “phased out”, as opposed to symptoms of systemic issues in need of urgent investigation and action.

    As a final talisman against all opposition and criticism, the government brandishes the fact that it spends close to $600 million on special education every year, as if a sum of money were the measure that the rights of children are being upheld.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    An apt metaphor.
    I just hope it doesnt detract from the moral criminality, not just in education but in so many other aspects of our lives, the philosophy, this govt seems to worship, is inflicting on us.
    It is rotten to its roots.
    It needs to be stood up to and stopped now.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    It’s pretty clear that the present Government is appointing women (Maori women moreover) in sensitive portfolios like social services and education. This is a clever way of defusing criticism from the Left and the politically correct, as it is difficult to attack them without looking sexist and racist.

    I can well see why one would take umbrage at the Government’s spells of tinkering – though I’d have thought that Steven ‘Dark Mage’ Joyce would have more say over monetising Tertiary Institutions, and that Hekia Parata has able assistance from the well programmed coven of blonde Stepford Wives (Nikki Kaye and Louise Upston) not to mention everyone’s favourite hologram – David Seymour – as a familiar.

    I was appalled at Uni of Canterbury stopping Film Studies and Islamic Studies some time ago – like they were irrelevant subjects nowadays!!

    and now Lincoln has the change agents in charge:

    Four science majors will be the first to go as Lincoln University works to improve its course offerings and shaves millions of dollars from its budget.
    The specialist land-based university has announced four Bachelor of Science majors will not be offered next year. They are Agritech, Maori and Indigenous Knowledge of the Environment, Bioprotection and Biosecurity and Land, Water, Environment.

    Really odd after saying this a coupla months ago:

    Pollard says Lincoln also had a clear vision of its role – spelt out even before the earthquakes – of being New Zealand’s specialist land university, not merely a school of farming.
    So the goal is to provide a rounded land education – teaching environmental science alongside agricultural science. And it is why other subjects like landscape architecture and even tourism are a good fit.]]

    This piece by Professor Giselle Byrnes (Massey) from Hawke’s Bay Today was of interest too:

    If universities are only designed to deliver personal and individualised benefits, such as a good job and a high standard of living, and a private good is the outcome, then at what point do they cease to become public institutions?
    If this were the case, as with private universities elsewhere, then high student fees might make sense. If, however, higher education in general, and universities in particular, deliver tangible public benefits, then we need to accept this in the way we think about and describe these institutions. We also need to agree on what those public benefits are.
    Tertiary education is good for society as well as for individuals. The onus is on universities themselves to make these arguments.
    We need to talk about what our universities should do and what ought to define them, not just focus on how much students should pay. We also need a mature public conversation about what our universities are for.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Zed Brookes,

    When you're a hammer every problem looks like a nail. The government is run by people who come from a background in banking and running commercial businesses, and they see everything in NZ as an asset with a particular value. This currently includes education.

    The terminology relating to education has recently changed. Tertiary education is no longer "funded" by the government - instead the providers have money "invested" in them. This terminology change is actually pretty frightening as it indicates the depth of the mind-set switch to economical (commercial) rather than educational values.

    Being in tertiary education myself, I could go into great detail about some of the negative repercussions of the current policy changes on students and staff, suffice to say it's now become about survival of the fittest, micromanagement by the govt, and about cutting costs but somehow also improving student results with dwindling resources. Ah yes - more value to the government! Er, taxpayer.

    It's really quite sad how the once-lauded NZ tertiary education system is being gradually eroded to being just another business that meets a particular economic need.
    No longer does education seem to be about big-picture stuff like improving humanity, expanding knowledge and improving the quality of people's lives through education (except where it's politically apt). It's not about exploring culture and innovation (except marketable innovation).

    I think the government is just selling our assets once more, but this time it's our education system, and they're doing it piecemeal so the public doesn't really notice.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Zed Brookes,

    Thank you for joining the conversation, Zed. Yes, this government has stealthily financialised the whole state sector, and their language reflects that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Zed Brookes,

    Great post Zed. Gosh, this discussion reminds me of that old chestnut from Oscar Wilde from 1892 in Lady Windemere’s Fan about the price v. value

    I happened across UK blogger Paul Bernal who from an article a couple of years ago in a nod to Wilde's cynic made this observation, apt when one sees is unfolding in our tertiary education system:

    The idea that anyone in the ‘real world’ should even consider ethical, moral, philosophical or cultural values to be on a par with financial or economic ‘value’ appears whimsical, sentimental, even romantic. Hard-nosed, sensible, rational, practical people ‘know’ otherwise. It’s the economy, stupid.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 385 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    You can't fix education by fixing global capitalism. The problem is user-pays education. That's fixable.

    Even though the cause of it is now the mayor of Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    fixing global capitalism

    Fixing? This global "system" is fixed already (the other meaning)
    But lets not condemn future generations to just polishing this turd.
    User-pays is born of this organisational method that is the golden turd.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

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