News.co.nz New research finds New Zealand schools have not improved as a result of the introduction of Kindergarten Supplies, while the country is still facing high rates of teacher absenteeism.
The New Zealand Institute for Education Research released a report titled The State of the New Zealand School Supplies Report on Thursday.
“We know we are in the middle of a new school year and we are experiencing a severe shortage of supplies, but we are not yet seeing a significant improvement in the quality,” the report states.
“The lack of improvements is largely driven by teacher absenteeities.
While there is little evidence to suggest that supply is improving, the number of absentee teachers has remained high, with more than a quarter of the teachers working from home in the past two years.
The report notes the issue has been around for several years, but has not been tackled with the implementation of the new school supplies program.
In the 2015-16 school year, New Zealand reported a record number of teacher resignations, a significant number of those being teachers who had previously been working full time for the department.
A number of other states, including Victoria and Western Australia, also reported significant teacher shortages, but did not introduce any new school supply programs.
This year, the state government has committed $1.4 billion for the New Schools Program and a $5 million increase to the funding for teachers’ contracts.
Education Minister Steven Joyce says he is not concerned about the teacher shortage, which is a long-standing issue, but wants to make sure every child in the country has access to quality education.
He says the state is on track to meet its 2020 goal of a school supply plan.