“It’s not just science, Labour’s entire new school curriculum is garbage and needs to go straight into the bin,” says ACT Education Spokesperson Chris Baillie.


“The draft curriculum Te Mātaiaho is a woke word salad. According to the overview, it “is designed to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to be inclusive of all ākonga. The curriculum is framed within a whakapapa that connects all its components.” It’s not designed to give effect to learning.

“It continues: “The curriculum takes its direction from Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles, particularly its provision for the active protection of taonga, including te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, and mātauranga Māori, and for fair and equitable educational processes and outcomes for Māori and for all ākonga. New Zealand’s vision for education affirms the importance of inclusive, equitable, and connected learning that achieves advances for all ākonga.”


Fine phrases, but where is the science? New Zealanders think of ourselves as first world people living on the frontier of technology. We want to see the next generation in space, like Rocket Lab, pushing the frontiers of genetic technologies, and writing software that will power the world, like Xero.


Instead, we are being given a primitive, superstitious and mediocre version of science that will ensure Kiwi kids grow up in an international backwater, busy with itself and uninterested in what the wider world has to offer.


The draft science curriculum says that there are “multiple ways to observe and interpret phenomena and events in the natural world.” No, there are not. There is science and there is myth. If you want to learn myths, study ancient Greece.


It’s not just the science curriculum - the entire refreshed state curriculum has become an ideological exercise in identity politics.


The technology curriculum pushes a post-capitalist agenda. By Year 13 students will be required to believe that “design for equity and inclusion prioritises benefits like sustainability, accessibility, equity, and social justice over the speed of development and manufacture, following trends, and profitability to create outcomes that strengthen kotahitanga (collective benefit) and social cohesion.”


The USA and China will happily focus on ‘speed of development and manufacture’ and ‘profitability’, at our expense.


The new maths curriculum says, “The interface between mātauranga Māori and mātauranga mathematics and statistics offers opportunities for insights that uphold the integrity of each knowledge system.” Core aspects such as calculus, algebra, arithmetic are at a second stage.


The refreshed English curriculum overview begins "Language is my identity; language is my uniqueness; language is life." There is nothing on spelling or grammar.


Perhaps the greatest sadness is that the setback from this curriculum will be uneven. Elite schools will opt out. Children who chose their parents well will go private or live in desirable school zones where foreign curriculums like Cambridge is taught.


Children in poorer or less resourced schools will be stuck with the mediocrity and low expectations threaded through this laughable curriculum. In a very real way, the Kiwi dream of an egalitarian society dies with this academic mediocrity.


The left used to offer kids from poor backgrounds a chance to be the best in the world. A kid from a rural Area School could go to Oxford or Cambridge. Today the left offers them patronising mediocrity, they'll probably know those institutions only as evil instruments of colonisation to be avoided.


Education shouldn’t be this hard. Humans have been doing it for millennia. Let’s get back to the essentials.

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