A celebrity debate in Wellington tonight will act as the launching pad for a new three-year campaign by NZEI Te Riu Roa.
The Stand up for Kids - Protect Our Schools campaign will be officially launched at the "That Teachers Should Do As They Are Told" celebrity debate on September 6 at the Amora Hotel in Wellington.
Stand up for Kids is a three-year strategy by NZEI to engage communities in protecting and enhancing quality public education.
"Quality public education is at risk. Changes being introduced by the Government will have a detrimental effect on kids’ learning. Our campaign is about ensuring parents and our communities - who care about their local schools - understand the issues and can be involved in protecting our world-leading education system," Wellington’s Khandallah School principal Louise Green says.
Charter Schools, National Standards and league tables, reviews of the role of Boards of Trustees, and performance pay for teachers linked to student achievement are introducing harmful competition and privatisation into schooling. These policies could have a devastating effect on kids, teachers, schools and their communities if parents and teachers do not stand up for their schools, Louise Green says.
"The Government has definitely adopted a "teachers should do as they are told" approach, which will make the debate very topical."
The Government’s top-down approach was rejected by parents, teachers and the wider communities when it came to increasing class sizes. "Involving parents and teachers in education policy makes sense if we want sound and durable changes in schools," Louise Green says. "Stand up for kids is just that - making sure all Kiwi kids thrive and achieve in our world-beating public education system."
In keeping with the celebratory nature of the event, there will be music by drumming group Strike Percussion and by local band Wellington Heads and impersonations by Salesi Le’ota.
The debaters are actors Pinky Agnew, Ginette McDonald, Geraldine Brophy, comedian James Nokise, principal Perry Rush and columnist and writer Dave Armstrong. Master of Ceremonies is Wallace Chapman.
For more information on the campaign see: www.standupforkids.org.nz
"That Teachers Should Do As They Are Told" debate and Stand Up For Kids campaign launch, 6 September, Amora Hotel 7-9.30pm
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