Ministry bungles report release

TINA LAW
Last updated 07:19 14/09/2012
school closure
STACY SQUIRES

BRICKS AND BOUQUETS: Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is amongst the best-performing ministers while Education Minister Hekia Parata, centre, is amongst the worst. They appeared with Education Secretary Lesley Longstone to announce proposals for closing and merging Canterbury schools.

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OPINION: Yesterday's announcement on the future of Christchurch schools can only be described as a stuff up.

The media was given a list detailing the proposed future of all 214 schools. Some could close, others could merge and some could relocate.

But no-one expected such sweeping and extensive changes.

The most surprising proposals were to merge Avonside Girls' High School at Christchurch Girls' and Shirley Boys' High School at Christchurch Boys' .

Following outrage from some of those principals, the Ministry of Education seemed to immediately U-turn, saying the plan was not to merge the schools and instead it needed to wait for geo-technical information before it could decide their futures.

One described the release of the information as a "cock-up of colossal proportions".

Staff, parents and students who have already been through an incredibly difficult two years were left confused about the future of their schools.

And in the document released to media, schools were also colour coded: green for "restore", yellow for "consolidate" and red for "rejuvenate".

Strangely, many of the schools in the "rejuvenate" category will close.

The dictionary definition of the word "rejuvenate" means to invigorate, update and strengthen.

Principals are educated people, they will see through the wording.

After spending so much time preparing for the announcement, the ministry should have taken more care to ensure the information it released was both clear and correct.

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