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What's the Problem, Mr Mallard?

What's the Problem, Mr Mallard?

ACT Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today questioned the Education Minister's decision to rule out a satellite arrangement between a private school and a kura kaupapa Maori. Arorangi School near Tokoroa and Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tawhiuau have proposed forming a satellite arrangement.

"Trevor Mallard says it is against the rules for a private school and a kura kaupapa to form a satellite arrangement. He says a condition of these arrangements is that "Maori is the language of instruction". That's just political correctness gone crazy.

"Mr Mallard has made no allegation that these schools aren't providing a decent education. Parents seem to be happy. In fact, an ERO report on Arorangi School states "the best possible learning opportunities are being realised" there. And the kura kaupapa is run by Pembroke Bird. Mr Bird is Mr Mallard's own appointment to the Teachers Council - the organisation that "provides professional leadership in teaching and contributes to a safe and high quality teaching and learning environment for children".

"Why is it against the rules for schools to form flexible arrangements like this? And why on earth can the satellite structure only be used if the sole language is Maori?

"Mr Mallard angrily declares he `did not sanction' any agreement between the private school and the kura. That doesn't mean he needs to throw his toys now that he does know about it.

"Bureaucrats and politicians from Wellington should pay far more attention to the needs of communities, rather than the Ministry's inflexible rule-books," Miss Coddington said.

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