Boost for science, maths

Last updated 13:36 27/11/2013

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More than $10 million has been earmarked by the Government to boost teachers' skills in science and maths it was announced today.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said that boosting young people's skills in maths and science was essential for the country's economic growth.

"The reality is New Zealand needs more people with fundamental skills in science, technology, engineering and maths - or 'STEM' subjects - and that is a strong focus of this Government."

Education minister Hekia Parata said $7 million over four years would go into two existing professional development programmes for teachers, accelerated learning in mathematics and BES Exemplar 1, and another $3 million over two years would go into learning- and teacher-support in the science curriculum.

Another $500,000 would go into developing more than 60 science learning resources for teachers.

The money would come the existing budget for teachers' professional development, Parata said.

A report this week showed that teachers working with Year 4 and Year 8 students on science subjects felt less than confident in their ability to teach it.

"We want all teachers to feel confident and enthusiastic about teaching these subjects, and these resources will help them to do that," Parata said.

"In turn that will ensure that all our children and young people get a better education and a stronger grounding in mathematics and science."

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