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MIT exec challenges compulsory view of education

MIT executive director challenges compulsory view of education

A 16 year old student studying at a polytechnic has as much right to a free education as a 16 year old student still studying within the school system.

This is the message Manukau Institute of Technology executive director of external relations and student affairs Dr Stuart Middleton delivered at the Auckland Coca Cola Careers Expo Teacher’s Night.

“It is time we challenged the conventional view of what constitutes a compulsory education. For a start we have to acknowledge that the only difference between a secondary student and a tertiary student is a Christmas holiday.

“If we believe in the power of education we should ensure that all young people have the right to free education and training regardless of where they decide to undertake it.”

Dr Middleton questions whether it makes sense to rob some young people of the opportunity to continue their journey to future employment by denying them the right to continue a free education somewhere other than in a school.

“Is it right to allow students to continue at school until the age of 19 for free, while insisting that should they leave at the age of 16 they start paying for their education and training?”

Dr Middleton also challenges the competitive environment in which education providers have traditionally operated in.

“We have had 15 years of competition in education, but all of us must now work together. We must turn away from this much vaunted, but increasingly discredited, competitive environment and seek to provide our students with the benefits that will flow from the collaborative advantage.”

The Auckland Careers Expo is held at the Auckland Show Grounds in Greenlane from 9 – 11 August.

A copy of Dr Middleton’s speech is available upon request. He comments on the importance of schools, further education providers and businesses working together to create effective pathways for students to move from the school curriculum, through tertiary programmes and into employment.


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