July 22, 2021
Union challenges ministry double standard on kohanga tohu
The kaiwhakahaere of primary teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the Education Ministry seems to have a double standard when it comes to recognition of qualifications developed by the Kōhanga Reo National Trust.
The union is throwing its weight behind Kōhanga Reo’s bid to have Tohu Whakapakari recognised as a formal teaching qualification, an issue which is holding up efforts to give Kōhanga Reo kaiako pay parity with their peers in early childhood and primary schools.
Laures Park says the ministry and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority have stubbornly stuck with decisions made almost two decades ago that the three-year course wasn’t enough to count the kaiako as fully fledged teachers.
"The ministry will not actually allow a Kōhanga to open unless someone at the Kōhanga has a Tohu Whakapakari so for us it stands to reason – if it's good enough to open a Kōhanga with that qualification, why is it not good enough to be a teaching qualification?" she says.
Ms Park says even though few Kōhanga reo kaiako are union members, supporting their fight is the right thing to do.
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