The Herald reports Pita Sharples has backed down on his demand to ‘open’ the universities to Maori. Now he says:
“he wants Maori to have free access to universities but only if they pass a course showing they have reached required standards.”
We already have that, Pita. Just get whatever they call UE these days at school or pass a bridging course at uni and in you go.
In fact, you can even get in if you fail a bridging course sometimes but 90% of people who do that fail because they’re either just not up to it or unable to give uni study the concentration it needs. So, you’re not actually calling for any change, are you Pita?
Yeah, not enough people from poor backgrounds, disproportionally Maori, get to uni. But the solution isn’t to make getting into uni easier. That’s just setting more people up to fail and leave with nothing more than student loans. And the solution to that certainly isn’t to make getting degrees easier, they’re already too easy.
The resource has to be put into early childhood education – to get the building blocks right – and into continuing literacy and numeracy education for those who didn’t get a good education when they were young. That’s where Sharples should be concerntrating his efforts.
A pity that Sharples has no credibility on education any more after the government he is part of slashed funding for early childhood and adult education in the Budget.