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OECD Report Slates Education System

Saturday 4 May 2002

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) slates almost every aspect of New Zealand's education system in its latest report, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"The detailed report into New Zealand prepared by the OECD paints a very ugly picture of what has happened since Labour tightened the state stranglehold on the education sector.

"The OECD criticises school zoning, says little is being spent on literacy programmes, describes the ERO as ineffective, points to a need for national examinations for younger students, and says money should be shifted from later to earlier years. Most importantly it recommends greater management freedom for schools and greater choice for parents.

"Schools should have control of more than just one-quarter of their budgets. The current pay dispute wouldn't be happening if, as the OECD and ACT recommend, individual schools had control of the purse strings.

"This report is an endorsement of ACT Education Policy. Parental choice and school freedom are the cornerstones of our vision, with more support for literacy programmes and national tests, and greater emphasis on early education.

"This report should be compulsory reading for every Government Minister. I hope Mr Mallard is brave enough to acknowledge the sound suggestions," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

Ends

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