Monday, September 17, 2012

Major changes for Christchurch schools

Two years ago Christchurch started being rocked by earthquakes. Since that time we have had over a thousand of them, several doing a lot of damage and one where there was a signficant loss of life. Most of the problems have occurred on the East side of the city. Life is still far from normal for the people who live in these areas. Many are not able to live in their homes and for many it is not known when their lives will return to normal. A lot of people have left as many homes are on land that has been deemed too difficult to use to build on for a long time. At the end of last year many of the schools in these areas found that their staffing for this year was down from the previous year due to the loss of population in the area. It must be remembered that many of these children were very traumatised due to the earthquakes. This year many schools kept their staffing levels up by directly paying a teacher from their school funds.

Last Thursday the Minister of Education announced new plans for education in Christchurch. There was shock and disbelief throughout Christchurch schools over the plans. 13 schools are due to be closed, 18 schools to merge with other schools or relocate and 5 schools will close and merge as one.

The 5 schools that are to merge as one Learning Centre include 3 primary schools, 1 intermediate and 1 secondary school. This will be over 1300 pupils in the 5 to 13 year range and then several hundred in the 13 to 18 year range!!  This is what they are looking at in the long term. All schools will be part of Learning Clusters.

 As you can imagine many schools, parents and children are very upset with the announcement.  At this time there is supposed to be ongoing discussion but it will be interesting to see if there are any changes to the proposals!!

I wonder what people think our schools will be like in 10 or 20 years.

Watch this space...

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