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Education discussion paper mirror business concern

Education discussion paper mirrors business concerns

The National Party's discussion paper 'Schools of Excellence' will strike a chord with business as it pinpoints several problem areas in education, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"If we are rejoin the top 10 of the OECD by 2015, far more effort and urgency has to be directed at education," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive. "'Schools of Excellence' will help kick the debate along on how this is to be achieved.

"We give full marks to the chapter on literacy and numeracy, and the one on the importance of quality teachers.

"They hit the precise points business has been banging on about for years.

"The most important thing for everyone involved is that all students must attain competence in literacy and numeracy at each age level throughout their 11 years of compulsory education. Any student not reaching the standard has to be given immediate remedial assistance.

"Business is concerned not enough focus is going into secondary school development especially, which is the time students often choose their career paths.

"We awarded the chapter headed up Quality and Innovation 75% for its focus on schools and abandoning school zoning as ways to encourage elements of competition between schools. Overseas this has been shown to deliver positive results for both private and public schools.

"But other issues have not been included yet in the discussion paper such as those relating to the curriculum, for instance on whether business enterprise studies should be introduced."

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