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The Ministry of Education is taking too long to process applications and payments to Professional Learning Development providers which is an unreasonably long period of time, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“I’m aware of a provider who was owed close to $100,000 by the Ministry of Education. It’s not fair to have people who are struggling as a result and having to max out their credit card to pay their bills. It is unacceptable that it takes a media query to force the Ministry to pay this provider back.

“A Ministry report from March of this year confirms that complaints on issues, time delays and the payment of invoices ‘are universal’. It also shows that there are personnel issues within the Ministry and pressure on the viability and functioning of businesses.

“I will be asking more questions to get to the bottom of the time that they have been taken to process both proposals for professional learning and development and payments for this. 

“It is positive that the ministry indicate that they’re working on a platform to speed things up. However, that is cold comfort for the people at the coal face and the schools who are getting delays in their professional development.

“The uncertainty around payments and funding will have a huge impact on businesses that rely on this as their main source of income. This is extremely concerning, it’s important our teachers get timely, professional development and that there is confidence in the market.

“It’s clear the Ministry can’t even get the basics right and we need urgent assurances that these issues are being resolved.”

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