NZEI advocates for quality public education and represents the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services within NZ.

President of the organisation Lynda Stuart says the $40 million package (including $24 million of new money) announced last week would help schools and teachers to equip students with the digital technology skills and confidence they needed in a changing world.

Kaye also acknowledged educators’ concerns about ensuring they have the time to absorb and put into practice the professional learning and development they will be receiving, Stuart adds.

“This is a big shift in curriculum focus and the Minister is keen to get it right and work through it with the sector, which we’re really pleased about.”

Digital fluency will receive a greater emphasis in initial teacher training, to ensure new teachers were ready to deliver the new curriculum content, which is a positive development, Stuart says, however, the details of how this will all work still needs to be addressed.

“For example, will ITE (Intitial Teacher Education) take longer in order to include this additional training, or will emphasis on other areas of the curriculum be reduced?

“It would certainly be troubling to see initial teacher training further reduce focus on subjects like the arts,” the president says.