Early last week, a damning report revealed that by the age of 15 two out of five kiwi kids are either only just meeting or failing entirely to meet literacy standards. The report’s author says Friday’s announcement leaves her wanting more because we still don’t know how our curriculum is changing.
Just days later the government’s revealed its strategy to tackle the issue. The strategy aims to provide more signposts for teachers when it comes to what they’re teaching and how to assess tamariki [children], but some have been left wondering where the detail is.
Tamariki at Natone Park School in Porirua were busy learning on a Friday morning. And just what and how they learn is in for an upgrade with the government releasing a set of strategies for teachers to address the country’s declining literacy and numeracy rates.
“We understand the frustration that they’ve had for quite some time,” Assoc Education Minister Jan Tinetti says. Teachers now can see where we are heading to and that’ll give them some confidence that we have a strategic focus. They’ll play into our wider curriculum refresh which should be rolled out by the end of 2025.”
“Giving teachers a model of common practice and new assessment tools for measuring how kids are tracking. This signals to me that we’re on the right track for the possibility for addressing the declining literacy and numeracy levels in the country,” Natone Primary School principal Daryl Aim says.
There are also specific strategies for teaching numeracy and literacy within Te reo Māori. “The supports are right there, in front of you, so that you can gauge what children need to be learning at their year level,” Natone Primary School deputy principal Ria Millan says.
“We’re never going to see improvement in literacy until we know exactly what it is they’re wanting to happen, so without that detail, it’s very hard to come to a judgement about whether this is going to make a difference for all students,” Education Hub founder Dr Nina Hood says.
“People who are looking for an instant, overnight, what’s the magical solution are ultimately going to be disappointed,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says, “because turning around our dire reading, writing and math rates is a challenge that will take years.”