Friday, November 2, 2012

Education Preference

A quick "What the [insert obscenity here]?!?!?"

The Honourable Hekia Parata has once again put both feet in a pile of excrement... willingly.

Wanganui Collegiate School, a private school, is to become an integrated school.

What is an integrated school? Basically it's a solution to a tricky problem. In days gone past, the government would no longer fund schools of a religious nature. However, early on, a big proportion of the schools were of a religious nature - if they were to close down, then schooling facilities would disappear.

So a solution was put into place. Basically, the government would fund staff of those schools and the schools (boards, trusts) would be responsible for facilities (buildings upkeep and expansion).

At the same time the government is trying to cut costs. Suddenly schools would not receive funding for tech teachers - i.e. those teaching those more interesting things like woodwork and metalwork. Of course, these schools were unwilling to cut these subjects and so the result would have been increased classroom sizes.

Christchurch is facing the closure of 13 schools with 25 said to go through some sort of "merger". The use of the word merger is interesting - schools, while in theory a business, are in practise a community center.

Given it's prestigious reputation, I would imagine a lot of politician's children going there. If not for the education, then for the name at the very least. Part of what the news announced was that the fees would go down as well.

Given the especially stupid cost cutting measures being taken, and then this shock announcement, I can't help but feel that Wanganui Collegiate School is getting preferential treatment. And while I don't wish to see any school close, I am of the opinion that schools need to be treated with a certain amount of consistency. Are those closures essentially paying for a bailout for, what those in the education sector would jokingly call, a "decile 10z" school?

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