Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Woe is me (and all the cuzzies)

The Education Review Office reports its dismal findings. Shock, horror, there are disparities between our best and worst students. Maori & PI kids lag behind. Experts predict a frightful problem in future. Sounds all rather familiar, dunnit? Most scarily, the ERO insists school must improve not only their literacy & numeracy, but also "cultural awareness." Sure hope the Polynesians fail all that multi-culti diversity goo they dish out in the classroom. Maharey, the Minister of Dithering, promises more policies such as (1) seeing what good schools do to achieve success, & (2) trying to implement it at lesser achieving schools. I remain resolutely non-assuaged. Expect tons of 'reports' and 'enquiries' and 'new committees'.

UPDATE: The school teachers hit back. Take that, ERO! About time someone fronted up to the increasing busy-bodyness of this out-of-control, unaccountable, bureaucratic quagmire that strangles and mangles all in its PC path. All the ERO ever does is moan, moan, moan. They bowl into a school, criticize it to bits, write a (usually condemnatory) report, then move along to the next sucker. I can't remember one instance of them offering any sound advice or solutions for all of the 'problems' they routinely discover. Spraying criticism machine-gun style on hapless school 'targets' is a hopeless and dispiriting practice that crushes teaching staff's enthusiasm and lowers community morale. For all the talk of 'the importance of self-esteem' and 'safe environments' the educrats peddle, they behave in a most bullying, intimidatory, and insensitive manner.

UPDATE II: The Libertarianz are even less sympathetic.
"Bugger the teachers, bugger the schools and bugger ERO"
...suggests an educational spokesman. Pithy indeed! Tell us how you really feel!

Depressing Stat-Watch: Maori account for 15% - 20% of AIDS cases. Since that's about the same proportion of the population in general, so what? An Auckland Uni researcher tells us that since Maori women have higher HIV rates than the blokes, we can expect more wahine in future to have AIDS than men. Such dazzling acumen! He lists socioeconic status, a 'racist' health system and lack of condoms as aggravating causes. I thought it was the shagging.

But all is not gloom. The Health Ministry announces that although
Maori, Pacific, and Poor People still have higher suicide, smoking and infant death figures, the national numbers are dropping as a whole (including MPPPs). Something to be glad for, I guess.

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