The National Party will offer voluntary bonding to teachers in hard to staff areas and subjects and will commit $19 million to this initiative.
The party has already offered similar assistance to health professionals and vets.
Bonding graduates in areas and disciplines where there are shortages is much better use of tax payers’ money than untargetted assistance for under graduates who may not complete their training and if they do may not stay to work in New Zealand.
The rest of National’s schools’ policy is here.
It includes a commitment to $2 billion of new spending on education over the next four years. This has already been allowed for in the party’s fiscal plan so will not add to projected deficits.
The Timaru Herald makes a very good point about taxpayers’ largesse to students:
Under Labour, students have done well. Nearly $2 billion in interest charges have been written off, there is zero interest providing certain conditions are met, and now allowances could become universal.
This is all at the expense of the taxpayer, and perhaps it is time we asked for something in return. A requirement on students to perform satisfactorily or forfeit the allowance would be one way of ensuring the investment was not wasted; another could be bonding the graduate to work in New Zealand for a certain period rather than instantly gallivanting overseas. Such moves could also dilute the label of cynical vote-catcher from Labour’s policy.
Both these suggestions have merit, especially the idea of bonding.
I’d prefer most of the assistance to students to be given to graduates rather than at undergrads who may or may not finish qualifications and if they do qualify, may or may not work in New Zealand. That way the country gets a return from the very generous investment in their education.