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English language schools want to help refugees

Media Release 26 August 2004

English language schools want to help refugees

"Private English language schools are ready and willing to help refugees learn English. We know what an amazing difference that language skills can make to a person's participation in the economy and society, but we can't help refugees under current policy. Government funds for English language training only support students at public institutions", said Frances Woolcott, deputy chairperson of the Association of Private Providers of English Language (APPEL).

"There is a great opportunity right now for the Government to make use of the private English language teaching industry. As shown in Statistics New Zealand's annual survey, our student numbers are down almost 30% from the previous year. Student numbers dropped from 71,000 in the March 2003 year to 50,000 in the March 2004 year."

"We urge the Government to work with us to open up opportunities for refugees and other migrants. We have the capacity to help refugees, the refugees want to work and the Government wants to invest in them. It could be a win/win solution."

"The Tertiary Education Commission published a directory of courses yesterday that migrants who had prepaid for English language tuition could attend. This list of providers could easily be invited to tender for English courses for refugees and other migrants too," said Frances Woolcott.

The TEC list can be found at:

http://www.tec.govt.nz/education_and_training/english_for_migrants/english_for_migrants.htm

EMDS


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