Education Commission of 1960
A Commission on Education was set up by the Minister early in 1960 to report on the publicly controlled system of primary, post-primary, and technical education in relation to the present and future needs of the country. The hearings of the Commission were held in various centres and opportunity was taken by the Commission to visit teachers' training colleges, schools, and educational institutions of all kinds. The official report of the Commission, which was submitted to the Minister of Education in June 1962, contained a large number of recommendations for improvements in the national system of education. Many of the recommendations of the Commission had already been implemented when a consolidation of educational law and practice was undertaken in 1964. Some of the remaining recommendations, which called for amendments to the law, were incorporated in the new Education Act. There were still, however, a few far-reaching recommendations of the Commission; for example, those on the administrative system and on the organisation of teacher training in relation to the universities, on which there was not a sufficient measure of agreement among interested parties for legislation to be introduced. Thus a review of educational law and practice had become an urgent need in order to remedy the complexity and uncertainty of the provisions of the Education Act of 1914 following its continual amendment to meet changing needs over a period of 50 years. Once, however, the law had been clarified, the way would be clear for consideration by interested parties of outstanding issues in the field of education which would in turn call for further legislation. Meanwhile, the Education Act of 1964, by redefining the field of education, made specific provision for recent developments in that field, particularly those relating to technical education. The former distinction between secondary and technical schools was discontinued and they were now classified as secondary schools. At the same time, the provision made by amending legislation in 1963 for the establishment of technical institutes, devoted solely or largely to the provision of technical and continuation education, was reenacted.
by Harvey Egdell, B.COM., Chief Executive Officer (Administration), Department of Education, Wellington and Francis James Comerford, M.A., Advisory Officer, Department of Education, Wellington.