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Transparency Needed For School Zoning Dispensation

Transparency Needed Over School Zoning Dispensations

National MP Pansy Wong has given her backing to Christchurch Boys High School principal Colin Croudis in his bid to seek dispensation so that out-of-zone students can enrol at his school for Chinese language courses.

A similar application from Shirley Boys High School was turned down by the Ministry of Education, and Ms Wong says she will seek clarification over why that was rejected.

A survey conducted within four neighbouring primary and intermediate schools indicated there were 36 students wanting to study Chinese languages.

"Those students and others should be able to study Chinese languages in other schools, especially since Burnside High has decided to drop Year 9 Chinese language classes from next year," Pansy Wong said today..

The Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages has written to the Associate Minister of Education emphasising the importance of students being able to learn other international languages to realise their full potential as world citizens.

"The importance of learning Chinese language was raised during the successful nation-wide forum on 'Trading with China', organised by Asia 2000.

"If the Ministry accepts the importance of granting dispensation for Burnside High to accept out-of-zone students for its music programme, then it is only logical that other schools should be able to get dispensation to offer language classes such as Chinese.

"Chinese languages have quickly become the second most used on the Internet, and are now school certificate and bursary examination subjects. It doesn't make sense to block schools which want to give students the chance to learn these valuable language skills," Pansy Wong said.

Ends

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