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State Education Nothing To Crow About

Tue, 16 Nov 2004

State Education Nothing To Crow About

"Congratulations Mr Mallard. You've accomplished what no other Education Minister has ever managed to achieve before. Your comprehensive and total control over the education market is complete." This dubious compliment was given by Peter Osborne, the Libertarianz Spokesman For Education Deregulation today in response to Mr Mallards trumpeting of 'Early Childcare and Education Awareness Week. '

"Fact: Since this Government came to power, there have been more closures of privately-run early childhood educational centres than ever before. Fact: Since the introduction of this Government's forced retraining scheme for early childhod practitioners, more centres of special philosophy such as Montessori have abandoned those philosophies than ever before. Fact: Mr Mallard's preferred 'one-size-fits-all' state-controlled models have been introduced at the expense of private providers and the taxpayer, and regardless of the demand for greater parental choice."

Mr Mallard says that this Labour-led government 'seriously values early childhood education.' To which Osborne replies, "The values of this government are based on a very shaky foundation of coercion (by compulsion), of theft (by tax), and of indoctrination (by a thuggish ministry). If complete state control of your children's education is a value to you, then now is a time to rejoice: the day is nearly there. This is a disgrace, and the sooner parents and taxpayers wake up to this blatant abuse of power the better."

Mr Mallard also describes his state-controlled early childhood education model as 'top quality. "By what standard can he make this claim?" asks Osborne. "With those remaining private institutions being seriously hamstrung by Mr Mallard's plethora of compliance-criteria and costs there is not much left in New Zealand with which to compare. Where once a plethora of early childhood choices was available to parents, Mallard's one-size-fits-all juggernaut is rapidly wiping out those choices. There is no quality in the eye of this beholder."

Mr Osborne concludes, "If people wish to celebrate 'Early Childcare and Education Awareness Week' then let them realise what it is they are celebrating. It may be a good time for parents to look to their own children and reflect on whether they wish to control their education, or whether they prefer that Mr Mallard and his army of bureaucrats make this decision for them. If people prefer the latter then they are getting what they deserve. But their children don't."


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