Bali Haque’s Service to Education Recognized in Queen’s Birthday Honors
Ask Bali Haque about his 40+ years in the education system, and the discussions keep coming back to a review he has been involved with over the past two years.
The education minister-appointed task force, led by Haque, found that the education system tended to favor advantaged communities and schools and put a lot of pressure on the disadvantaged.
“The crux of our review was: How can we improve the system so that everyone has a fair chance? “
Haque, 70, was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his service to educational governance.
* Experts call for an overhaul of the school system following the decline in student results
* Glen Bennett opens his 2020 Plowing campaign in New Plymouth
* Waikato principals call for sweeping changes to school system amid growing inequality
The exam is one of the highlights of his career, he said.
We produced a report with 50 recommendations. The problem now is the implementation, which is progressing a little slower than I expected. We are happy that progress is being made. ”
Working with teachers has been a privilege, he said.
Haque was principal of three New Zealand high schools and the National College of the Cook Islands.
Upon his return to New Zealand about four years ago, he decided to come to New Plymouth for the third time.
The first took place in 1975 when he arrived in New Zealand with his backpack and began teaching at Spotswood College.
Born in Pakistan and raised in London, Haque hated school.
“I went to school in the 60s. It was the time of Paki Bashing. We were the first wave of brown immigrants to arrive, so I went through some interesting times. ”
After graduating from college, he wanted to feel he was contributing something, he said.
“The teaching has come – well, I’ll try that. “
After teaching at Spotswood for a few years, he returned to Europe before returning to Spotswood College in the early 1980s to teach economics and accounting. He was then appointed deputy director.
His career includes leading major reforms of the NCEA and serving on the board of Ako Mātātupu, which focuses on tackling inequalities in the education system.
Now, looking back, he wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else.
“What could be more important than young minds and helping empower young people to live well? What can be more important? It has been a real privilege. You meet people on the street who have been in your classroom – it happens all the time. It’s good.”
He was surprised and grateful to have appointed an MNZM.
It was a good thing to happen to someone, wasn’t it? It’s a cliché, but a lot of other people have done a good job.
“The award is part of the team effort. I want to thank my wife, Cara, and my two sons. I couldn’t have done it without them. ”