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Interesting to see "innovation" at work ("Tradies fast-tracked into teaching", February 10).  After dismantling our fantastic TAFE system, where tradies did become the teachers, our government is moving forward to make it easier for people with work skills to enter teaching to encourage students to widen their horizons about employment. Plus ca change ...

Anne Szczurowski, Lambton 

What can Education Minister Simon Birmingham be thinking?  When I began teaching in a state high school in 1967 there were teachers who had trained for two years at a teachers' college or those who had studied for four years at a university. Over the next few years all teachers became four-year trained. The raising of these standards was important to the profession and the students. Life experience is useful but it does not a teacher make. 

When I began full-time teaching at TAFE in 1991 there were many talented and experienced tradespeople who taught part-time, sharing their workplace experience. However, these people now require a Certificate IV in workplace training in order to teach. Why do we need yet another expensive review to address ridiculous, ill-informed questions that the minister is raising?

Jan Boyd, Sylvania

Now you are getting it, Simon. What about, now you have acknowledged the value of experience in teacher training, extending this theory to skill training in our universities, where the emphasis appears to be on qualifications. Have you extended your thought process to using proven, classroom teachers to teach the very area that is so weak in the system, the area that is crying out for experience – skills teaching? Both the areas of literacy and numeracy desperately need experienced teachers, within the area of teacher training. The NAPLAN test results have, and will continue to, reflect this deficit.

Elaine Alvin, Bateau Bay

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Source : http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/debate-over-push-to-turn-tradies-into-teachers-20180209-h0vv5o.html

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