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Another broken promise

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, October 20th, 2009 - 5 comments
Categories: education, Social issues - Tags: ,

Before the election National made promises about extra resources to tackle problems in schools:

Schools Policy
Strengthening the Ladder of Opportunity

National is determined to ensure our school system helps every child climb the ladder of opportunity. We will bring New Zealand schools into the 21st century to ensure that every child, no matter where they live or how much their parents earn, has the opportunity to develop the skills the modern world will require of them.

National will:

• Provide additional support to under-performing schools to ensure their pupils are on track to achieve National Standards.
• Get tough on truancy by prosecuting parents of persistent truants and give schools extra resources to crack down on truants.
• Give schools additional assistance for dealing with disruptive pupils. …

Before the election Key also spent a lot of time drumming up faux hysteria over crime, particularly youth crime:

I am extremely worried about the youth crime problem, with senseless violence and killings seemingly occurring on a daily basis. Good, law-abiding Kiwis end up paying the price. We must act now to defuse these unexploded human time-bombs, who are on the fast-track to Paremoremo.

So will National be keeping their promise of extra resources to schools? Will they be working to nip youth crime in the bud? Will they act now to defuse these unexploded human time-bombs!?! No chance:

‘No money’ to combat school violence – Minister

Education Minister Anne Tolley says there is no money for counsellors and social workers at low decile schools. Ms Tolley was responding to a call by Auckland primary principal Shirley Maihi who wants extra school support after a 10-year-old bit a hunk of flesh from her shin and attacked two other staff. Principal of Finlayson Park School in Manurewa Ms Maihi needed stitches and a tetanus shot after the incident.

But she maintains that her school was not given enough support from the Education Ministry to handle the child’s “short fuse”. The pupil was excluded from the school and then roamed the streets, threatening to beat up pupils. Ms Maihi wants the Government to fund a counsellor and social worker at all low-decile schools, saying staff are in serious danger every day. But Education Minister Anne Tolley said it would cost more than $60 million a year and the cash was not available.

$50 Million for John’s cycle way to nowhere. $35 million for private schools. For the same money Tolley could have funded this support for schools and kept Adult and Community Education. It would have been money much better spent. Not only is failing to provide this support a broken promise, it is short term thinking. I’d be interested in an analysis of (1) the benefits of a young person completing an education and finding productive (tax paying!) employment, vs. (2) the costs of that young person instead of requiring state support on a benefit, or getting involved in crime and the prison system. How many lives turned around would it take for that $60 million investment to pay itself back a dozen times over?

5 comments on “Another broken promise ”

  1. Ianmac 1

    And I think that one of those special schools who take on kids who are out of mainstream schooling, is being closed down and the kids sent back to the mainstream, because their standards were not high enough. Read it about a month ago but not sure where.

  2. George D 2

    Here would be a good opportunity for Labour to reach out to the special needs community – they (anecdotally) are already starting to feel uncomfortable with this Government.

  3. Roger 3

    Oh but national is keeping their promise, they never said ALL schools. You see, anybody who lives in any location can go to a private school if they can afford it. People on bus driver wages ($16hr) can work 20 hours a day to pay for it, sleep and spending time with family is overrated isn’t it? You see, it all fits! The prioritizing of private schools is keeping their promise, and the cycleway helps provide an opportunity for those who are abused in the school environment to jump on their bikes and escape their assailants. Basically what I’m saying is that National are being so stupid over education that I wonder why there isn’t a more fierce attack from the opposition.

  4. Johnny 4

    It is official – this National Party has lost its way – roaming in the wilderness looking for a saving in cost, ignoring the value of what costs.

    Ditto the Ministry of Educaiton on what amounts to a political witch hunt. Who is weak enough to be done away with?

    The availability of counselling at all secondary schools is a necessity. You can’t expect rank and file teachers to be dealing with the mental and emotional issues that the specialist counsellors can.

    A sad day for our young.

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