Quit the education complacency

Education Minister Chris Hipkins is mythmaking about the impact of school closures on learning, no doubt to downplay the impact of his Government’s failures over Covid, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Today in Parliament Mr Hipkins asserted that results for students were as good or slightly better in 2020, notwithstanding lockdowns last year.

“What’s there to worry about, he seems to be saying?

“This is arrogant nonsense. NCEA results were slightly better in 2020 purely because the Government gave free credits to students to mask the impact of missing out on learning.

“As for primary and intermediate school students, we wouldn’t know what the impact was because the system doesn’t measure progress robustly.

“There are teachers and schools across the country moving mountains to give their students the best shot, but the reality varies hugely between schools and between households. 

“Many parents and students in Auckland are now at their wits’ end after weeks of home schooling, and with more on the way as exams approach for senior students.

“The best thing Mr Hipkins could be doing for education is to tell the Covid-19 Minister to do everything he can to avoid damaging lockdowns. Get on with vaccinations and make sure our health system is less vulnerable to being overwhelmed – so the kids can stay at school.”