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NZTech Inform – why are our schools not ready?

Kia ora readers,

Last week, we started the multi-city tour to develop a New Zealand Digital Technology Sector Industry Transformation Plan (ITP). Working with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and our regional partners, NZTech is gathering feedback from throughout the country. The development of a shared vision for how we would like the sector to evolve in the coming decades will help guide policy and Government investment.

We greatly value hearing your views, so please consider attending one of these sector plan workshops in the coming weeks. Join me today in Dunedin or in Christchurch on Wednesday. Next week we will be in Tauranga on Monday 9 December and Hamilton on Tuesday 10 December.

A critical component of the sector plan will be education. While it was great to hear the Government announce a $400m injection into upgrading school property, I am wondering why the Government’s focus on the introduction of the digital technology (DT) curriculum appears to have declined. From January 2020, all schools are required to implement the new curriculum content for all students in Years 1-10. However, a recent analysis by the Education Review Office (ERO) slammed the way schools and the Education Ministry were preparing for the introduction of this new curriculum.

Only seven percent of schools reported to ERO that they are ready to introduce the DT curricula next month. Only eight percent reported they had teachers in their school who understood the relationship between the DT curriculum content and how this would inform their local curriculum design. Over a third (38 percent) had no understanding at all! There is clearly more work to be done to help teachers prepare…  

In the coming years, the issues will compound as demand for digital skills continues to increase and we are unable to create a local workforce. Not just the tech sector, but all sectors of the economy will suffer, if schools don’t successfully introduce digital skills. This is because our entire economy is becoming increasingly more digital. It will also potentially exacerbate the growing digital divide, leaving parts of society disadvantaged and New Zealand’s modern workforce lacking diversity for years to come. It will also harm our country’s future global competitiveness.

So, what can we do? If you have kids at school, now is a good time to talk to your local Principal. If they are not already involved, suggest they join the national schools digital tech challenge, Tahi Rua Toru Tech, delivered by IT Professionals. I also recommend speaking with your local member of parliament to ensure as many people as possible, stop and consider the implications if we don’t start teaching our next generation how to harness digital technologies.  

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller


Join Canterbury Tech tomorrow for their Annual General Meeting and Quiz night. 

The NZSA next meets on 10 December in Auckland to discuss Doing Digital Responsibly.


Attend the launch of the postgraduate certificate in Human Potential for the Digital Economy on 11 December in Auckland. Please RSVP.

Register for Hack Aotearoa  and MobileTECH Ag 2020. Attend evokeAG 18-19 February, 2020 in Melbourne. 

Final dates for the Xero Small Business Roadshow include Tuesday in Invercargill and Thursday in Queenstown.


Please attend our Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) workshops in HamiltonTaurangaChristchurch and Dunedin.

New research predicts $6.4 billion of economic benefits for New Zealand by 2035 from AI driven labour efficiencies.  

Please support SpaceBase, crowdfunding on PledgeMe until 5 December.  Applications for #cprize2019 close on 8 December

NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.