Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced a new policy today which would see all new teachers offered a knighthood after five years of teaching. This announcement comes after intense media scrutiny surrounding a severe shortfall of teachers in the Auckland area. Ms. Kaye explained that she hoped the offer of knighthoods would show how much the National Party values teachers and the contribution they make to New Zealand.
“I am so excited to announce this policy because it will see that teachers finally get the respect they deserve, and as a result I think this will make teaching a more desirable occupation. This is exactly why we brought Knighthoods back after the Clark government abolished them”.
The Education Council took a more dim view of the new policy: “This policy is superfluous, it does nothing to address the core issue which is that teachers are underpaid and can’t afford to live in Auckland, especially with the cost of purchasing a house” said council spokeswoman Veronica Macdonald.
Minister Kaye however assured media that she is confident the new policy will attract more young people to the teaching profession – “I am confident that our new policy is spot on, a knighthood will be an attractive prospect for many potential teachers. How do I know this? Well our research has shown that most new teachers are women, and women love the monarchy, look how often members of the royal family are on the cover of Women’s Day! Oh, speaking of that, have you seen the latest pictures of Princess Charlotte? Cute, so cute.”
The Other News spoke to young people at Sylvia Park mall this afternoon to gauge the word on the street and found that reaction was mixed:
21 year old Clementine Molloy explained: 'I'm currently doing a BA in History and was considering doing a post graduate diploma in teaching after I had finished, but I was worried about my future ability to live on a teacher's salary in Auckland. This new policy does nothing to convince me. Why would I want a knighthood? That is not going to get me onto the property ladder or enable me to live the kind of life I want to live. If anything this policy has the opposite effect, it's silly and makes me think this government does not take the teaching profession seriously at all."
18 year old Heather Perkins had a different view, saying that the new policy may convince her to consider teaching when she graduates high school this year – “Oh cool, I could be called Lady Perkins! That would be totally lit! You know, Prince Harry is technically still on the market and I think he would be way more likely to go on a date with a ‘Lady’”.