Topic: Education

Should charter schools be able to employ unregistered teachers?

By Numia Ponika-Rangi
  • Auckland

Auckland University's Teacher Training School, Te Puna Wānanga, strives for excellence in producing qualified teachers in three years to fill the country's new schools.

However, a wharekura principal has expressed concern about the new rules regarding new charter schools, that teachers do not have to be registered or have a teaching qualification.

It's important that teachers in all our schools are qualified to teach our children, according to Te Puna Wānanga whose classes started today.

Te Kawehau Hoskins from Te Puna Wānanga says, “That's what we hope to achieve here in three years, to improve their reo Māori, to enhance their knowledge of the curriculum and to teach them how to be educators.”

One of the new charter schools to officially open this week was Te Kura Māori o Wātea based at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, and they have their own set of rules for teachers.

Te Kura Māori o Waatea's Willie Jackson says, “We're aware of the opposition to the rules about charter school teachers not being required to have a teaching qualification.

But I didn't follow that rule.  I supported the community's wish to have qualified teachers.  We have good teachers in our school.”

Principal of Te Wharekura o Manurewa, Maahia Nathan says, “It appears the government has made new laws for charter school teachers and other teachers like myself must hold a qualification and must be registered.  Those rules don't apply to charter schools.”

Nathan is concerned at the speed of these new schools going up, when they've been waiting for 16 years for their new school.

Nathan says, “We've been waiting for many years for our new school, and yet we have charter schools popping up every five minutes.

I'm concerned at the Ministry of Education and the government who obviously have money for these new charter schools, but schools like ours, which have been around for years, are left hanging.”

As these students endeavour to acquire the teaching skills needed in their three years of study to gain a qualification and be registered, it's the school students who will reap the benefits.