Despite their lofty ideas of always being up to the minute (with teaching philosophies changing by the week, by order of whatever latest pedagogical philosophy goes floating by the Ministry of Education), in many respects New Zealand’s schools are still thoroughly nineteenth century.
No more so than in the hours that the state’s factory schools open—education must only happen between the mandated statutory hours! Never mind all the logistical problems and inefficiencies that creates.
But as many people have been saying, the Christchurch earthquake has been a game changer—even in education—with at least two schools now doing what in businesses would be the equivalent of “hot desking.”
Good news out of bad.
Christchurch Boys High is not badly damaged and is discussing sharing their facilities with Shirley Boys High—one school functioning in the morning and one in the afternoon. Simple.
Isn't it wonderful how creative alternatives can happen if people are left to solve their own problems?
Imagine if this sort of thing were to happen more often.
Imagine the excitement amongst teachers who may now be able to choose the early or the late school hours, to work—or be able to work full time jobs for two different schools.
Think of the huge savings in school construction by using existing facilities more efficiently, for more hours of the day.
Think of the huge savings in financial, emotional and "environmental" terms of halving the pressure on transport that is currently caused by all schools operating at the same (statutory) times.
Think of the whole variety of businesses who follow the lead and discover they can offer all manner of more flexible employment options themselves in terms of job sharing and the like.
Freedom to choose - what a novelty!
And who knows, if “this sort of thing” were allowed to continue, we might even see some taxpayers dollars trapped in the Ministry’s bricks and mortar being released—or at least used much more efficiently.
[Thanks to reader Shirley R. for the story]