Exams bring ed­u­ca­tion into fo­cus

South Waikato News - - NEWS / OPINION - By LOUISE UP­STON, Taupo MP

We are get­ting closer to the end of the year, which for our older chil­dren, means they’re fin­ish­ing with exams.

There’s a lot of study hap­pen­ing in my house and I wish all stu­dents the best as they put their knowl­edge to the test.

Each year I am lucky enough to at­tend a num­ber of ju­nior and se­nior prize giv­ings when my sched­ule al­lows. They are al­ways a plea­sure to at­tend, and it’s al­ways so great to see our stu­dents buoyed by suc­cess, and look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture.

What I ap­pre­ci­ate at th­ese oc­ca­sions is how proud the stu­dents are.

Na­tional is spend­ing more than ever on ed­u­ca­tion. We have in­creased spend­ing in schools by over $ 600 mil­lion, and we’re putting $ 359 mil­lion into our In­vest­ing in Ed­u­ca­tional Suc­cess Ini­tia­tive. This will boost the qual­ity of teach­ing and lead­er­ship in our schools, and see com­mu­ni­ties of schools form to fo­cus on lifting ed­u­ca­tional achieve­ment to­gether.

Ev­ery­one in the South Waikato com­mu­nity wants the best for our chil­dren wher­ever they are learn­ing. It makes sense to me for our schools to be work­ing along­side each other to share knowl­edge, ex­per­tise, and best prac­tice.

It will ben­e­fit all our schools in the re­gion, our teach­ers, our stu­dents, and the fu­ture of our com­mu­nity. Our chil­dren are grow­ing up to be our lo­cal business own­ers, work­ers, and en­trepreneurs, and I want to see them given the best tools avail­able to help them get there.

That means in­vest­ing in im­prov­ing the qual­ity of our teach­ing, and in­vest­ing in bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture and re­sources, such as the Net­work for Learn­ing. This gives our stu­dents ac­cess to fast, re­li­able in­ter­net, and to­day’s mod­ern learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

I would also like to en­cour­age the great teach­ers we have here in South Waikato to ap­ply to the new Teacher-led In­no­va­tion Fund.

The fund will give teach­ers what they need to do prac­ti­cal re­search on new ideas for the class­room, to test them, and then to share what works with oth­ers.

I’m proud that we are fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing per­for­mance in our school­ing sys­tem to en­sure ev­ery child has the op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed, and I know this will re­flect well in our lo­cal com­mu­nity.

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