I would like to reassure Briar Lipson (NZ Herald, January 27) that teachers still do play a pivotal role in the delivery of valuable knowledge within the New Zealand curriculum. We have a national curriculum which has structured building blocks to success and has a vital role in classrooms across New Zealand.
The training and professionalism of a teacher remains a very important component within the process. Teachers are directing instruction with hours of planning, and summative assessment combined with responsive formative assessment, with the student at the centre. Research supports this process as best practice as progress is accelerated. Students throughout this country are provided with modelling, scaffolding and are given examples of components that demonstrate excellence. Students are not randomly left to determine their next steps. Teachers are providing sequential instruction with deliberate acts of teaching alongside the learner.
Knowledge acquisition and curriculum delivery are constantly at the forefront of my daily interactions with students. My teaching colleagues are aware that knowledge of the disciplines enables precious connections to be made.
Yes, we do need safeguards that ensure there is equal access to knowledge that enables growth. As a community, we need to scrutinise the wider social barriers that are limiting access to quality education.
Suzanne Corlett, Ramarama.
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The article about Barbara Holt's bequest to the Labour Party (NZ Herald, January 28) gives information about her father Lawrence and her brother Jim.
It fails to acknowledge Barbara's remarkable mother Betty.
Betty was a major figure in the National Council of Women, the Women's League for Peace and Freedom and a member of the Auckland Hospital Board for 15 years.
Anne Martin, Papakura.
Congratulations to Marion Curtin, mother of Pike River victim Richard Holloway, for having the courage (NZ Herald, January 24) to speak out about the costs of the ongoing Pike River investigation.
She has been quoted as saying, "The amount of money that's been spent I think is disgusting". I think that there are many others that would agree.
Dave Murray, Grey Lynn.
The huge rise in ACC claims for e-scooter crashes (NZ Herald, January 29) highlights the inequity faced by motorcyclists. While e-scooter riders pay nothing directly to ACC a motorcyclist pays a $198.59 ACC levy, plus a $12.50 ACC Safety Levy within a six-month registration fee of $262.09.
The owner of a much more powerful sports car pays a mere $23.03 for the same period.
Auckland Hospital says e-scooters cause more serious injuries than motorcycles. For the majority of motorcyclists riding is a form of recreation. If they chose other injury-prone recreations, such as hang gliding, jet boat racing, rugby, boxing or mountaineering they would pay no ACC levies.
Because motorcyclists have to register their bikes they are an easy target. This is also witnessed on the Northern toll road where they pay exactly the same toll as a large SUV towing a gigantic boat.
Jon Addison, Milford.
The Government is procrastinating around how to spend $11.6 billion on infrastructure. Can I draw its attention to a government-funded report from economic research firm, BERL, on the reopening of the Gisborne-Wairoa rail line that was hidden in the pre-Christmas rush?
The report carefully recommended the reopening of the rail line on social, environmental and economic grounds. The report estimates that a total investment of just $39 million is needed over a 10-year period to bring the track up to standard after being left to decay by the National government. Yes, that is around 0.3 per cent of the available infrastructure funding.
As an interesting comparison, $45 million is being allocated by various transport agencies to, essentially, install traffic lights at two intersections on East Coast Rd on the North Shore.
Despite the report, the Coalition continues to be politically vague, if not obstructive, in reopening the rail line, finding trivial reasons not to invest in critical regional infrastructure.
This criticism is fair, given that all three coalition parties actively campaigned on reopening the rail line. Simply, do they accept the report's findings or have they changed their policy position?
Dr Murray Boardman, Browns Bay.
Before anyone else grabs up their pom poms and starts cheering for the Chinese construction of a hospital in a week they may want to stop and consider what sort of structure is going to be built. More importantly how sound it will be.
As an example, concrete takes some three days to be considered hard enough to drive a car on. Just because the Chinese announce the building of a hospital does not mean that it will be a place for people to be cured, it could be a prefab where people are sent to die, out of sight of the world's news media.
John Capener, Kawerau.
With the recent virus spreading around the world, perhaps a good time for all of us, including children, to learn to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
This should preferably not be with your hand but perhaps on the inside of the elbow.
This along with regular hand washing is probably our best protection and is just as relevant to all cold and flu viruses.
Wearing a mask will not give protection, as I believe the virus can enter through the eyes.
Vince West, Milford.
Shoppers in the supermarket should know that when you go shopping you buy the food and take it home and eat it there. Not give it to their children - doughnuts, yogurt drinks, bags of potato chips and even warm chicken nuggets, which some even share with them.
I have seen the empty bags screwed up and left on the shelves, or in the trollies, obviously not paid for. This is stealing and not setting a good example to their children, who will expect free food every time they go to the shops.
P Salvador, Hobsonville.
Well done TVNZ1 for showing the interview with Thomas Markle. Emma Mackintosh (NZ Herald, January 28) left no doubt she was annoyed by the change in programming that allowed for the interview to be screened but she obviously watched it. Her comments about Markle were very scathing.
To me, he came across as an elderly father who loves his daughter very much and has been extremely hurt.
The photos and videos showed Megan had a happy childhood and young adulthood. Her father figured prominently in her life at this time and they showed he loved and supported her.
In fact, as recently as 2015 at UN Women Megan said: "We need more men like my father who championed my 11-year-old self to stand up for what is right."
Perhaps, if Markle had been given help and support to negotiate the journey of his daughter becoming part of the British Royal Family, there may have been a different outcome.
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Just the ticket
A big thumbs up to the mayor and Auckland Council for providing us with so many activities to enjoy - free.
During the school holidays, whilst on grandparent duties, we have enjoyed going to Glen Innes pools, Parnell Baths, riding the buses and trains at the weekends, the sculptures in the botanical gardens and various activities at the St Heliers Bay library. All free, gratis and for nothing.
Last Saturday, I also attended the Opera in Glover Park, again free.
It was a superb concert celebrating emerging talent and the programme had the thoughtful inclusion of Robert Burns' love song A Red Red Rose as a happy birthday to the beloved and prolific Scottish poet.
Now that the grandkids are back at school and we are back on holiday (read, retirement) my husband is off to bowls and I am off to catch up on a long list of movies... not a Spies in Disguise amongst them.
Jan Campbell, St Heliers.
Letters: Coronavirus, agriculture, handouts, coal, Matakana Link and Gordon McLauchlan
Letters: Disruptions, tourism, Pike River, MMP and Harry's exit
Letters: Consumerism, malls, elections, plastic bottles and Lizzie Marvelly
Short & sweet
This team is on the brink of a championship. Get along Auckland, this winning side deserves more support. Linda Oudshoorn, Kelston.
It was a time to show solidarity against evil. We should have been there. Mike Groves, East Tamaki Heights.
The cost to NZ from stopping Chinese tourists entering our country would be far less than trying to control the virus if and when it gets out of control here. We have been warned, but are we smart enough to take notice? Bob Wichman, Botany.
Millions and millions of these useless masks, with plastic content, are being made, purchased and discarded, adding more junk to landfill and more plastic in our oceans. Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
The current dry period is hugely stressing young trees on our street verges and in our parks. We can all help by watering them to get them through until the autumn rains returns. Nicola Middleton, Grey Lynn.
Religion is a belief system of unproven validity, not a subject for a state school curriculum. Jack Waters, Taupo.
The rich and privileged can get the world's best lawyers' money can buy, and that will be the Duke of York's saving grace. Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.