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Student Support for Teachers

Otago Polytechnic Students' Association, Po Box 5381 Dunedin, (03)-477-6974

Media Release for immediate release - 13 June 2002

Attn: Education & Political Reporters

Student Support for Teachers

OPSA Vice-president, Michele Watt, today expressed support for the PPTA's ban on extra and co-curricular activities following the rejection of the government's latest pay offer despite its effects on children.

"Extra-curricular activities are a very important part of secondary school culture, many students social development is greatly advanced by drama, music and sport," said Ms Watt, continuing, "teachers unpaid workloads contribute greatly and loosing it will impact greatly on students."

Ms Watt, a parent herself, is particularly aware of the effect of the ban on extra and co-curricular activities.

"However we are fully supportive of teacher's actions to negotiate acceptable employment conditions, it's time the government recognised the important contribution teachers make to society"

Like other areas of the education sector OPSA also has concerns over teacher recruitment and retention.

"Teacher's present poor conditions are not only unfair to teachers but will mean the New Zealand will fail to attract quality people into teaching - our children deserve better."

OPSA supports the on-going action by the PPTA to help reverse years of under-funding in the education sector. Labour's continued failure to settle will help make education the top election issue again.

"The government should be addressing under-funding in all areas of education and with record levels of support at present Labour are in the best position they'll ever be in to increase funding," said Ms Watt, continuing, "perhaps Labour will invest in education if they are forced by an education friendly coalition partner."

Further Information

Michelle Watt tel/fax (03) 477-6974 OPSA Vice-president mobile 021-1121-789

Mark Baxter tel/fax (03) 477-6974 OPSA Student Liaison Officer mobile 021-1146-753

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