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It may have slipped under many people’s radar, including many parents, that the government is now wanting to re-shape the New Zealand education curriculum. According to Labour Minister Chris Hipkins, he wants students to focus more on well-being, identity, language, and culture.

Yes, you have read that right; schools need to focus more on student well-being (and it’s not clear what that means); identity (that is, inherent naval gazing); language (which ones?); and cultures (whose?). I have a radical idea - the government re-focusing the education curriculum on math, reading, science, and writing. Actual, practical education items and not what can only be seen as topics of ideology and propaganda.

So, while achievement in actual educational topics such as mathematics is declining, the government affirms its Marxist credentials by seeking to indoctrinate students and erode parental rights. I can read no other agenda than this when you consider its new priorities alongside other recent changes including removing pretty much all the parental influence from Boards of Trustees.

You see, issues of well-being, one’s identity, and culture are the right and proper domain of parents. Not schools. While they are important topics when properly understood – not the coded words they are for progressives - they can and should be within the control of the parents. So we have to ask ourselves, in the parlance of modern progressivism, is this the Labour government appropriating parents' roles? The short answer is yes.

I want my kids, and those across the country, to get an education. Not an indoctrination. I want kids to learn subjects that are practical and will help them excel in the future, such as science (real science I might add, not that science is western and equivalent to other forms of supposed knowledge), math, and how to read and write. I do not expect or want teachers having the further burden of now being the arbiters of vague ideas of well-being, appropriate culture, or identity. How on earth can a school know what identity to affirm a particular student in? I can hazard a pretty good guess; it won’t be affirming well-being in terms of good conservative thought or be identity-based on Judeo-Christian, Hindu, or Islamic thought. As for language, perhaps if every school and family get to choose a second or third language to teach (e.g. Spanish, Maori, Cantonese, Hindi) then maybe we are on to something good, but this doesn’t accord with Labour’s ideology and intention. Such governments don’t want to leave such choices to parents or chance!

I have raised it before, but when governments who embrace extremes are in power they seek to change culture via children. History shows they often fail to convince adults, so it’s far better to then turn their attention to children. We need only look at the UN of late to see this in action!

Sitting further alongside this is the intention of the government to effectively get rid of school Boards of Trustees and instead have ministerial-appointed friends and iwi representatives. Instead of parents having a say on how their schools are run for their children, the government wants to increasingly control education. This is evident in the way the government is already removing choice by shutting down charter schools and eyeing integrated and private schools with suspicion (for the simple reason that they can’t quite control them entirely).

As I noted at the start, this is all part of a classic leftist and progressive agenda. Control education; talk about choice but make sure leftist pet issues are compulsory; focus not on academics but on behaviours; ensure subjects conform to a left-leaning view of history; remove parental responsibility where possible. This list goes on. In fact, why not just hand over your kids to the state and let it raise your children, not in your family’s values, but in theirs? If you - like me - love and read history you know that when this happens - when government takes over from parents - things don’t end well.

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