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Arorangi School Closure A Sad Contradiction


The forced closure of Arorangi School is a serious contradiction to the Government's own education statements released in May 2003, "Education Priorities for New Zealand" said Joy Quigley Executive Director, Independent Schools of New Zealand.

In that paper former Education Department chief Clarence Beeby is quoted "Every person, regardless of background or ability, has a right to an education of a type for which they are best suited.".

The closure of Arorangi shows the Government does not support children having the right to an education of a type that their parents have determined best suits them - and who better than parents to make that decision.

The document goes on to note that "Our education system today is very complex and needs to be able to respond to a range of challenges. Our communities are becoming increasingly diverse, new technologies are advancing rapidly creating new demands, and our workplaces are requiring workers to have greater flexibility and more transferable skills." The Minister and Ministry of Education acknowledge that a one-size education model does not fit all, yet only allows diversity to occur within a range of limited structures determined by them.

Arorangi did meet the needs of many parents and their children. If we are supportive of diversity then it should apply to a greater extent than just supporting that favoured and restricted by the Ministry. Many parents cannot afford the fees that independent schools are forced to charge if they don't comply with government restrictions, yet their children are the children of New Zealand taxpayers, the same as the children funded by taxpayers in the state system.

Arorangi would not have had to close if we had a fairer system of funding independent schools.


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