Chief Executive of New Zealand Catholic Education Office, Dr Kevin Shore, provides an update on some of the many developments underway in the Catholic Education sector.
It has been pleasing to see the secondary teacher’s union, the PPTA, has settled its long running pay dispute with the government. It is imperative the efforts of our teachers in supporting the growth and development of ākonga [students] are recognised and that the sector can continue to attract quality applicants to the profession both now and into the future.
One of the biggest challenges for school boards and principals in the current education environment is finding teachers to fill teaching vacancies and this challenge should not be underestimated. Whether we like it or not, renumeration is an important aspect in attracting the best caliber candidates to the profession and so it is pleasing to see an agreement reached. Our students will appreciate a more settled second half of the year.
NZCEO has enjoyed our part in bringing Professor Br David Hall of Australian Catholic University to speak to Catholic educators in the diocese of Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington. Br David is a gifted presenter and is well regarded by New Zealand Catholic audiences. His presentation was linked to one of the key themes of the New Zealand Education curriculum developed by National Centre of Religious Studies Tō Tātou Whakapono – Te Rongopai – The Good News. Br David provided insight and learning around Church tradition and scripture, interpretation of Gospel passages and how our understanding of this provides the Good News that can be lived out in our lives and the lives of the students we nurture. A key message was that God seeks us and if we understand and listen, we can have a powerful encounter with God. NZCEO thanks Br David for his generosity in taking time away from his role at the Australian Catholic University and spending two weeks with us in Aotearoa. [See WelCom interview with Br David Hall, p 5.]
NZCEO is starting to advance our planning for the National Catholic Convention in 2024. The date for the conference has been determined as Wednesday 19 June through to Friday 21 June 2024. NZCEO has chosen a group of potential keynote speakers and our organisation is now approaching these individuals to see who is available and can be contracted for the event. The same venue as used in the last event in 2018, the TSB Arena in Wellington, has been booked and our staff are working with conference organisers to develop all the resources and systems needed for registration and running this event. We look forward to hosting our Catholic education community and stakeholders in 2024.