ALLAN & CO.: Activism in Paradise-Voices from Down Under

“One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds.” Gandhi.

Education in New Zealand and Australia is under attack – will the people not notice until the war is lost? GERM is marching on paradise, winding its tendrils into our very good education systems, promising all manner of magical things, bolstered by lies and promises and spin. We read, learn, consider, digest – then we share, teach, educate and inform.

Allan Alach worked in New Zealand primary schools for 40 years, including 20 years as principal in a number of schools. All was going well until GERM arrived courtesy of a change of government in late 2008. Faced with compliance or fighting Allan chose to go with his principles and started actively working to help safeguard New Zealand’s primary education. This didn’t go down well with the GERMers who fought back, until the intense pressure and personal attacks via the media forced Allan to retire due to health issues. His battle for holistic child centred education continues however, no longer constrained by the system. Allan shares the Treehorn Express blog with eminent Australian Phil Cullen. You can also follow him on Twitter: @allanalach.

Dianne Khan has taught at primary, high school and college level and has a particular interest in main-streamed special needs students. She was enjoying a nice sabbatical bringing up her own wee son when she happened to notice the 2012 New Zealand budget was cutting teachers … from there she has become an almost full-time activist fighting GERM in New Zealand. Dianne blogs at Save Our Schools NZ. You can follow Dianne on Twitter: @ABiteOfTheApple.

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