Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Slipping education standards failing New Zealand

Slipping education standards failing New Zealand

National's Finance spokesman Don Brash says more young people will leave school with totally inadequate reading and writing skills unless the Government gets to grips with an ailing education system.

Dr Brash told the Visionschools Conference in Auckland today it's unacceptable that a system that used to pride itself in producing top achievers is failing so many young New Zealanders.

"We have some outstanding schools - and some extremely well educated people. But far too many people are coming out of 11 or even 13 years of schooling without even the rudiments of literacy or numeracy," said Dr Brash.

To back his claim, he used the recently released results of a 2001 survey which revealed that the reading skills of New Zealand nine-year-olds were the second worst among English-speaking countries.

Dr Brash told the Conference the solution was not a matter of more money and smaller classes.

"The issue is much broader - this Government has to address the lack of choice in education, the slipping standards of teacher training, the over-centralised control of the education system and the growing link between welfare dependency and educational failure."

Dr Brash strongly endorsed the comments made by Bill English this week that education is one of the best tickets out of poverty.

"Every child should have access to a high standard of education and we are committed to raising standards of literacy and numeracy. "National wants good teachers in the classrooms and a modern education system that gives parents and principals control of their schools, rather than bureaucrats and unions," said Dr Brash.

He told the audience these issues would be thoroughly canvassed in a discussion paper currently being prepared by National's Education spokesman, Dr Nick Smith.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news