Letter: All kids need qualified teachers

Last updated 12:00 08/08/2012

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OPINION: In the argument over whether non-qualified teachers should be employed in schools, there's been little comment from the many "volunteer" readers and tutors who help qualified teachers, particularly in primary schools.

I'm one and privileged to help with small-group reading and maths with 5 and 6-year-olds in sizeable classes.

I'd not have anything but the most basic idea of the educational needs of those children were it not for the excellent direction and care that trained and qualified teacher staff show.

The implicit suggestion from the likes of the prime minister and his education ministers is that teaching schoolchildren is only a matter of common sense. I have four children, all of whom went to state schools here and in Britain and are university educated, and have a grandson at kindergarten.

John Key is being disingenuous at best. Why did he spend so much money on his own children's education if he could have asked the neighbours to do it? Parenting in itself is nowhere near enough 'knowledge' of young children's educational needs.

Qualified teachers are an absolute must in schools with the smallest classes possible.

DAVID TOWNSEND

Island Bay [abridged]

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