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Skyrocketing fees send hopes plummeting

Skyrocketing fees send hopes plummeting

Green MP Metiria Turei is calling for NCEA fees to be scrapped, because they compromise the chances of children from poorer families for a good education.

The Education spokesperson said many children would be denied the opportunity to succeed at NCEA because they cannot pay the fees levied by the Ministry of Education, which says exam results will be withheld from students who cannot afford to pay.

"Trevor Mallard and his ministry have conveniently forgot about the purpose of NCEA, now that they realise how much this is costing. Rather than provide broad education to all our children, they have simply imposed an elitist system based on the ability to pay," said Metiria.

"Children from low income families are the ones who need the greatest incentives to achieve at school. What message are we giving them when they can't afford to participate in the very measure of their scholastic achievement?

"We've had the Ministry this week demand schools stop charging mandatory 'donations'. They obviously have a different set of rules for themselves.

"It is blatant Ministry hypocrisy to underfund schools but demand their own fees off the backs of young people struggling to be educated."

The Green Party is opposed to all fees in primary and secondary education.

"Now that the NCEA fees are set to skyrocket to $150 per student, it is compounding the alienation and dispossession of many of the poorer students in our schools," said Metiria.

"$150 may be okay for a one-child high income family, but this completely ignores the reality that many lower income families have more children.

"It is proof that we no longer have a free and fair secondary school system in New Zealand anymore."

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