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CEPNZ: Leading by Example

Character Education Programme of New Zealand (CEPNZ)
PO Box 20-616
Glen Eden
Auckland

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE 5th August 2004

CEPNZ: Leading by Example

In response to an outcry from the Libertarianz Spokesman For Education Deregulation, Peter Osborne, the CEPNZ stands by its position to make Character Education a priority for NZ schools.

"Schools have purchased our resources by their own choice through their own operations funds and while the Government provides the money (through our taxes) for the state education system, we have always sought ways to make it easier for schools to access programmes like ours. To those schools that have found their funding stretched to its limits but have wanted our programme, we have supplied it to them for free." says co-manager of the CEPNZ, Stuart Macmillan. "We will never compromise our own principles in any dealings with the Ministry of Education or allow any 'political correctness' to water down our message. We only seek a better way to make our resources available to all schools that would like to have them by choice, not force."

The development of good character and virtue by the individual is and always will be a matter of choice. But where the individual is left to "formulate their own moral standards", as Mr. Osborne puts it, without guidance, we end up with a society that lacks in empathy, personal responsibility and respect for the rights of others within our commmunity.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must not forget that man is essentially a social being. He has risen to his present status by learning to adjust his individualism to the requirements of social progress. Unrestricted individualism is the law of the beast of the jungle. We must learn to strike a mean between individual freedom and social restraint. It could be done by self-discipline. If the individual did not discipline himself the state would try to discipline the individual, and too much official discipline kills democracy." But while elements within our society continue to choose not to discipline themselves and act in a socially acceptable and responsible manner, official discipline is a necessity. If we were a nation of citizens that exuded good character, there would be no need for official laws, as they would be observed by natural order.

This is the reason why the CEPNZ was formed in the first place - to provide the guidance by which each school and community can create its own environment in which the development of good character by the individual can be nurtured and anti-social behaviour can be eliminated by the individual through individual choice. If Mr. Osborne would have visited our website (www.cepnz.co.nz) he would see that we stress that the parents are and always will be the foremost moral educators of their children but schools are a microcosm of our society and that if neither the home or the school environment is conducive to the development of good character, the morality of society will continue its decline.

MEDIA RELEASE ENDS

Signed: Stuart & Elizabeth Macmillan, Co-Managers, CEPNZ, Email: info@cepnz.co.nz


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