We do not want to diminish the evil of registered teacher, James Robertson Parker who has been arrested on charges of indecent acts committed upon young pupils. Mr Parker doubtless needs divine help and every true Christian knows, along with King David, that we all are "evil, born in sin" and that "but for the grace of God, there go I". Every Christian knows that it is only coram Deo that a true remedy will be found.
The evil acts of Mr Parker were committed by a registered teacher, a deputy principal. The NZ Herald puts Parker's offending in a wider context:
Teachers' Council director Peter Lind said the council was made aware of the case when it went before the courts. Because he was unlikely to be out of jail in the next few months and will not pose a direct threat to children - the Council would wait for the full police investigation to be completed before they decided whether Parker would keep his registration.Ironically, these revelations have been made precisely at the same time teacher unions have been insisting upon the pedagogical folly of not having registered teachers in all New Zealand classrooms.
This was a distressing case of somebody in high trust abusing that trust, Mr Lind said.
"... By far the great, great majority of New Zealand teachers act professionally and appropriately, however, any case that involved the sexual abuse of a child or young person is a serious matter and has consequences for those young people that is significant. We need to get those people out of the classroom." Thirty teachers have been struck off since 2010, nine because of sexual abuse of a child or young person, he said.
The guilty pleas come a day after the release of a ministerial inquiry into the failings that allowed convicted sex offender Henry te Rito Miki to teach in six North Island schools using 53 fake names. It said the Education Ministry had insufficient evidence to confirm Miki was a risk to children. The release came as it emerged the Teachers' Council does not know how many sex offenders are working in New Zealand schools. (Emphasis, ours).
Teacher registration by a centrally run, bureaucratic council controlled by teacher guilds is a complete waste of space, time, and money. It does absolutely nothing to ensure the ethics and professional quality of teachers. In fact it does the opposite. It provides a false sense of security amongst school boards. "So and so is a registered teacher; everything will be OK." The horrible events at Pamapuria School only reinforces the reality of such folly.
We believe there is no centralised system--certainly no bureaucratic system--which can assure the rectitude and quality of all teachers--just as there is no bureaucratic system run by central government which can assure the rectitude and quality of lawyers and accountants and builders. Imagine a National Council of Solicitors run by the Department of Justice. This does not mean that academic qualifications for teachers are not important. They are. Particularly in the senior years of schooling. Nor that professional qualifications are unimportant. But the government is the worst institution to be provide and deliver them.
Teacher registration, precisely because it at present a government function controlled by unionists and guild members, is worth little. It is merely a ticket to work. It is anti-competitive. It is monopolistic. We all know what happens when anti-competitive monopolies control industries. Standards and quality slip in every direction.
Now let none misunderstand. There are hundreds and hundreds of superb teachers in state schools. But their professionalism and quality does not stem from them being registered teachers. Rather it is despite being registered teachers. The current system of teacher registration is a waste of space, time, and money. It is also dangerous, leading to a false sense of security and complacency which can cover over great evils.