Outgoing Education Minister Hekia Parata is right – schools can’t teach everything:
Outgoing Education Minister Hekia Parata says a push for schools to cover all civic and social responsibilities needs to be resisted – saying families and society must step up.
Parata highlighted the issue during an exit interview with the Herald before she steps down from the role on May 1, with Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye expected to take over.
“We should demand a lot from our education system because we have a quality one. But we shouldn’t demand everything,” Parata said.
“Financial literacy, sex education, bullying – any number of issues – whenever they emerge in the public domain the first response is, ‘This should be taught by schools’. I think there needs to be a much fairer shared responsibility here between parents, family, whanau.
“Schools are there to deliver an education. They are not there to take over all the roles and responsibilities of families or society. The more there is balance in those expectations the more the schools can have the space to be the best that it can be.” . .
A lot of what is called educational failure is parental and societal failure.
Teachers can’t be held responsible for children who don’t have the foundation skills for learning when they start school.
Children who don’t have the language and behaviour skills and other basic requirements for learning by age five are at a significant disadvantage which the best of teachers will struggle to overcome.
Giving children the love, attention and helping them master the skills they need before they start school is the responsibility of parents.
Not all parents have the ability and/or will to nurture their children, to teach them all they need to ensure they’re school-ready, and to support and supplement their education once they’re at school.
That is a failure of both parenting and society, not schools.