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Labour Treads Tired Path On Education

3 July 2002

Labour's education policy trots out the same tired promises, and doesn't bother addressing the one question New Zealanders are asking - what is the Government doing about the secondary education crisis? says National's Education spokesman, Nick Smith.

"It belies reason that Trevor Mallard can talk about lifting education standards for our school children when thousands of them are facing the prospect of being shut out of schools by full-scale strike action next term.

"Where is the commitment to sorting the education crisis? Where is the talk of secondary teacher recruitment and retention and of the NCEA? A raft of empty promises, including a truant database idea touted last election, but never acted on, is hardly going to see young New Zealanders catching the knowledge wave.

"More likely, they'll be stuck in a frozen millpond.

"This policy is typical of this Government - long on words, but short on substance. It makes no mention of paying good teachers good money. It makes no mention of problems with the NCEA. It makes no mention of zoning, and it makes no mention of school funding.

"The reality is that the amount of funding per pupil in primary and secondary education, in real terms, has declined since Labour became Government.

"With his so-called "vision" for education, Trevor Mallard has demonstrated he'd rather wash his hands of the work and leave it instead to the bureaucrats. If you can't stand the heat, Trevor...," says Dr Smith.


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