August 9, 2014

New Zealand agricultural education. 9. Better ways needed for future learning

 By Dr Clive Dalton

Summary of urgent priorities
Priority 1
Give the PrimaryITO total responsibility to oversee all New Zealand primary industry training and education (below University level), and to provide basic information for all entering the primary industries.  If there was overseas interest, then they could handle that too.

Priority 2
Provide the PrimaryITO with full resources needed for a major IT overhaul with the responsibility to put all the NZQA units and all support material discussed above on the Internet Cloud for free access by all learners, and to make sure all learners have access to appropriate IT and support.

Priority 3
Give the PrimaryITO the power to direct NZQA in regular monitoring and updating of the Units, and get rid of the stifling bureaucratic rules like putting a time limit on completing Units, and the time wasted in moderation of providers.  These waste enormous amounts of time and money and hold back learners’ progress.

Priority 4
Give the PrimaryITO complete political power through the appropriate government channels to have a major audit of all NZQA Unit providers, and get rid of those seen to be making a business of out totally unnecessary rules, regulations and paperwork, wasting students, employers' and taxpayers’ money, and only confusing young potential learners.  The PrimaryITO can do all necessary administration on line.

Priority 5
Universities need to stick to teaching degrees, higher degrees and research and they should not offer qualifications like their old (or revised) diplomas, as these only add confusion to the wide range of NZQA Units.

Residential training institutions should be just that, and like training farms should concentrate on NZQA Unit qualifications. They should not be joining up with other teaching organisations like universities to add confusion to the primary learning business.

High schools should offer PrimaryITO Units with help from local mentors recommended by the PrimaryITO.

Priority 6
The Primary ITO should have total responsibility to contract out their training requirements to providers who have all the necessary resources and skills needed to provide learners with modern Internet-based training - and their numbers need to be reduced. For example DairyNZ should be the only organisation used for the dairy industry.

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