Establishing enduring objectives for the education system

All systems work better when they have a clear set of objectives. The Education Act 1989 (the Act) now provides a set of enduring objectives for the education system (which covers Communities of Learning: Kāhui Ako, early childhood education and ngā kōhanga reo and schooling).

These objectives set the strategic direction for the education system, and make clear what a good education should look like for our children and young people.

This change makes it clear what Kāhui Ako, early childhood education and ngā kōhanga reo and schools should achieve for our children and young people. It also sets a clear and visible direction for the education system in the Act.

What are the objectives?

The objectives for the education system are:

  • helping each child and young person attain educational achievement to the best of their potential
  • promoting the development of:
    • resilience, determination, confidence, and creative and critical thinking
    • good social skills and the ability to form good relationships
    • participation in community life and fulfilment of civic and social responsibilities
    • preparedness for work
  • instilling an appreciation of the importance of:
    • the inclusion within society of different groups and persons with different personal characteristics
    • the diversity of society › cultural knowledge
    • identity, and the different official languages
    • the Treaty of Waitangi and te reo Māori.

How were the objectives developed?

The objectives were developed out of the most common themes that emerged from the consultation on updating the Act in late 2015.

They also draw on the goals and purposes in the national curricula.

What is the difference between the objectives in the Act and the purpose and goals of New Zealand’s curricula?

The objectives in the Act and New Zealand’s curricula have distinct but complementary purposes.

The objectives set out the direction for the education system. Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa set the direction for student learning in New Zealand, and guide the way early childhood services and ngā kōhanga reo, and schools and kura design and deliver education. 

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