Teachers march

More than 10,000 teachers marched this morning as a protest against education changes. About 4,000 protested in Auckland and 2,000 in Wellington. All around the country, in 26 towns, groups of teachers marched in protest. The protest was organised by the primary teachers’ union, NZEI (New Zealand Education Institute).

What were they protesting about? There were many things; some of these things have worried teachers for the last two or three years. National standards are still a concern. Some teachers say that national standards will label some children as failures. Another concern is that different teachers judge the national standards in different ways. A third concern is that the government wants to make league tables which show the schools failures. Also, more time is now spent on those subjects which are tested like reading, writing and mathematics and less time on other subjects like science, social studies, art and music.

Perhaps the main concern is that the government wants to set up charter schools. These will be private and many will be run by religious groups. Teachers are worried about time spent on religious education and about government money going to private schools.

Listen to August 3rd 2012 to hear more about charter schools and October 28th 2009 to hear more about national standards.

Vocabulary

concern – things that worry people
league tables – lists of all schools which show the number of students who have passed the standards






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