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Educational Achievement In Manukau Best Ever

Educational Achievement Levels In Manukau Best Ever

LATEST FIGURES REVEAL MANY SOCIAL IMPROVEMENTS

Social conditions are clearly improving in many ways in Manukau, especially in education, and the latest figures prove it, Sir Barry Curtis said today.

The current quarterly report to Council on social conditions in the city shows further improvements in educational achievement, fewer crimes, lower house rental costs and more affordable home ownership. The figures are for the year to 2001.

“There’ve been strong positive developments in a number of areas, and this is encouraging to see because it means a better quality of life for many families. It also contradicts the common stereotype that our education system is failing our children and we’re caught in a downward spiral,” Sir Barry said.

The figures show the best achievement levels yet by school leavers in Manukau. The numbers of pupils who left with no formal qualifications in the year 2000 fell to 17% from 20% a year earlier. This is part of a continued pattern of rising achievement.

More Maori pupils are achieving to higher levels, and the percentage of Maori school leavers without qualifications dropped to 38% from 41% in 1999.

The proportion of Pacific Island students leaving school with less than 12 credits dropped to 27% in 2000, compared to 29% in 1999 and 33% the year before.

Sir Barry said, “The pattern is clear. We are making progress and doing better each year but our overall record is still not good enough. I would like to see a situation where every pupil has at least some qualifications when leaving school. But I take pride that the various programmes involving collaborative efforts of Council, the Ministry of Education and schools are paying off in helping improve education achievement.

“We have great hopes for the new educational programme run by the City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET), called Te Wero. This links school with the workforce and gives pupils valuable work experience. We’re also encouraging Manukau students into technology careers. There’ve been a lot of recent events to help raise the interest of school children in science and technology, including the Technology Fair organised and run by Manukau Institute of Technology.

The latest education figures have been accompanied by other positive trends in Manukau:

- The average cost of house rentals fell nearly 10% in the March 2001 quarter, improving life for thousands of families. The demand for food parcels from state house tenants fell markedly for the first time in 15 years

- Homes are now more affordable due to continuing falls in interest rates, lower house prices and increased wage rates

- In the 12 months to June 2001, there were fewer burglaries, family violence was reduced (down 5%) and the overall crime resolution rate rose to 39% from 37% in the previous year. The number of home burglaries in Counties Manukau fell 11%.

- Two areas which became safer as a result were Mangere and Papatoetoe.

Ends

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