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Govt Wants Schools To Police Parents

Unreasonable and draconian conditions will be imposed on all New Zealand schools that enrol international students under a draft code of practice raised in Parliament by National's Education Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee today.

The Education Amendment Bill (No 2) establishes provisions for the 'pastoral care of international students'.

Under the Bill, the Minister of Education is empowered to impose a code of practice that all education providers must pay to sign up to if they are to enrol an international student. The Ministry of Education has circulated a draft code to schools.

"On one hand the Government says it values the $1 billion in foreign exchange the education sector could earn, yet on the other it is stifling the industry by imposing cumbersome regulations that will encourage some schools to turn international students away.

"It is quite unreasonable to expect schools to vet a homestay for an international pupil when that pupil's parents have arranged the homestay. It is not the role of a school to police the decision of a parent.

"The code puts all schools under the same umbrella. Schools, which accept international students but rarely actively recruit them, are quite different from secondary schools or tertiary institutions, who actively pursue international students and undertake to make homestay arrangements.

"Everyone wants foreign students to be safe while they're in New Zealand. There have been instances where international students have not been given sufficient care by their placement agent. This must be addressed. But applying this code, which will require schools to indemnify the Ministry against action resulting from breaches of the code in homes chosen by the pupils' parents, is unreasonable and will lead to schools turning international pupils away.

"At the very time the Government is claiming it wants to reduce compliance costs, it is imposing a raft of new compliance measures on a completely new group that will kill off an industry the Government says it wants to foster," Mr Brownlee said.

Ends


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