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Headlines for April, 2023

New Zealand Aims to End School Streaming by 2030

Two Elementary School Pupils Wearing Uniform Using Digital Tablet At Desk

Kōkirihia, a new plan funded by the Ministry of Education, aims to raise awareness of the harms of streaming—the practice of grouping students by ability and offering different education opportunities to each group—and eliminate it in New Zealand schools by 2030. The Ministry does not support this practice as it contributes to inequities in education and employment opportunities, particularly for Māori and Pacific students. However, schools have autonomy over how they organize instruction, and a recent survey found that streaming was still used by almost 70 percent of primary teachers and 66 percent of secondary teachers. The new plan promotes alternative instructional strategies and suggests working directly with schools and education agencies to provide professional development support to teachers and leaders embracing alternatives. Read more about Kōkirihia here.

Japan Vows to Invest More in Child Care and Supports

In a bid to reverse its declining birth rate, Japan’s government last week announced it will support a range of policies that would “double” the nation’s investment in young children. This includes extending child allowances to all families and increasing the allowance for families with multiple children, making school lunches free for all primary and junior high school students, extending child care leave for parents, and supporting more child care across the country. Despite recent investments in child care, Japan still lags behind many countries in the level of funding for child care and support. The government also launched a new agency this week to coordinate child policy across the government. For more, see Kyodo News and UPI.

Parent and child making slime

Ontario Allows Students to Start Apprenticeship While Earning HS Diploma

Apprentice builder, highschooler

​​Labor Minister Monte McNaughton announced that Ontario will allow students starting in Grade 11 to start full time apprenticeships. Currently, they need to have a high school diploma to apply. The apprenticeships will take from two to five years; students will apply for a high school diploma at the end. The move is in response to what the Minister said was a massive shortage of skilled workers to help construct new homes in the province.   The push to build housing is part of the province’s effort to create more affordable housing for residents; it is aiming to build more than one million new homes by 2030. For more, see CBC Canada.

Australia Launches Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System

The Australian Department of Education named the expert panel that will conduct a Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System. The Review will identify strategies to 1) lift all student outcomes, with a particular emphasis on historically underserved students, 2) improve student mental health and wellbeing, 3) recruit and retain teachers, 4) better utilize data to inform pedagogy, and 5) make public funding more transparent and equitable.The recommendations will inform the Education Ministers as they develop the next National School Reform Agreement, the joint agreement among the federal, state, and territory governments that sets out reform priorities for the next five years. The Agreement will be finalized in October 2023. Visit the Department of Education website for more information on the Review and the Agreement

Young Students