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B2000:Building a base for achievement in education

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

15 June 2000


Building a base for achievement in education

There will be 121 Resource Teachers of Literacy working in New Zealand schools next year as part of the Government's plan to lift standards in educational achievement.

The Budget allowed $20.4 million over the next four years to pay for additional teachers to work in clusters of schools says Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"The Government is determined to tackle the literacy problems that are burgeoning in our communities. It is a major aspect of closing the social and economic gaps that are developing in our society. If a child does not learn to read they are practically condemned to the dole queues.

"We will also spend more than $3 million over the next four years on developing literacy and numeracy materials in English and Mäori "

The Budget includes $7.5 million over four years for homework centres based in primary and intermediate schools. "It is really important that children gain good study skills and habits before they reach secondary school. Many children's home circumstances do not support this for a range of reasons. The funding will support the establishment of homework centres in primary and intermediate schools in low income areas schools."

Early childhood education receives a boost in the Budget.

"We want to increase participation and improve the quality of early childhood education to help give children a start in life. There is ample evidence to suggest that good quality early childhood education has lasting positive spin-offs for both the individual and society as a whole.

"The funding rates for early childhood education are increasing by 1.8% from 1 July and a further 1% from 1 October.

"As well the Government has allocated $150,000 over the next two years to develop an early childhood education strategic plan and $60,000 for a working party to develop criteria and costings for equity funding for the early childhood sector. Funding for the discretionary grants scheme to help establish licensed early childhood centres in poor communities would be increased by $9.45 million to $34.59 million over the next four years.

ENDS

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