Most polytechnics and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) are unimpressed with government plans to merge training providers and centralise control of them, and none more so than the very successful Southern Institute of Technology (SIT).
Southern Institute of Technology chief executive Penny Simmonds says she’s “shell shocked” at a government proposal to merge Industry Training Providers throughout New Zealand into a single entity.
Simmonds said the proposal, which was announced on Wednesday by Education Minister Chris Hipkins, “looks potentially damaging for SIT and Southland, but we have to keep an open mind about that”.
“It’s a very big game changer for Invercargill, for housing, employment, and businesses.”
SIT has attracted students to its campuses at Invercargill, Queenstown, Christchurch, Gore, Auckland,Telford and its SIT2LRN distance learning scheme through its Zero Fees Scheme, but under the Government proposal there were no guarantees that would continue.
“It has been our point of difference, and it is why we are successful. There will have to be some consideration given to that.” . .
The government is planning to do the same thing with schools – returning them to central control and taking power and decision making from local communities and giving it to bureaucrats.
Change is needed in education but it should start with learning from the successful and helping the unsuccessful up to that standard rather than pulling the successful down.