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Need for More Than a ‘Sticking Plaster’

Suspension Figures Show Need for More Than a ‘Sticking Plaster’

Wednesday 18th Apr 2001 Donna Awatere Huata Media Release -- Education

ACT Education spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today that the latest school suspension statistics highlight flaws in the education system, and a ‘sticking plaster’ response would not be adequate.

“With 5,108 students suspended from school in 2000, serious questions need to be raised.

“Rather than adopting a ‘sticking plaster’ response, the Government should be looking at the root of the problem.

“The higher suspension statistics for Maori need to be examined. They show that the current education system is failing Maori youth.

“Students turn off and misbehave when they are ignored by the system. Currently, we are allowing disadvantaged youth to blunder through schooling without even learning the most basic of skills. Literacy levels are going down – especially for Maori - while suspensions are going up. The two problems are intrinsically linked.

“If a student does not understand what is happening in the classroom, then they are going to misbehave. If they cannot participate, what else is there for them to do?

“The Government must not stand by and watch children develop behaviour which will harm their future prospects,” Donna Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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