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Agenda For Children Is Hypocritical

Thursday 13 Jun 2002

It is immoral for the Labour Government to launch its empty `Agenda for Children' while our country fails to meet our most basic United Nations obligations to children, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata.

"New Zealand is in breach of the United Nations Convention of the Child which obliges countries to take all possible steps to ensure children are in school getting a decent education.

"In Opposition Trevor Mallard promised to create a national database to find children not in school. He hasn't done a thing, and we have over one thousand missing children as a result. Mr Mallard proclaimed that the Ministry of Education, and not schools, should prosecute parents of truants. Yet for two whole years after the election, his Ministry didn't prosecute a single parent.

"And Mr Mallard's incompetence is the reason why more than 300,000 children in secondary schools will lose one day of classes every week due to strike action.

"This Government's compulsory health curriculum is a complete failure - for the first time, children as young as eight have been busted in the playground with drugs. Our literacy education programmes have been dumped by every other country in the world.

"This Government's record on looking after children is atrocious. It is sickening and almost criminal that after two and a half years of neglect, this Government claims to care about the kids," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


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