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C'mon Mallard, Get Your Act Together

C'mon Mallard, Get Your Act Together

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today demanded that Education Minister Trevor Mallard explain his decision to effectively charge private education providers for the accommodation of students affected by the collapse of the Modern Age language school.

"By increasing the foreign fee-paying student levy, Mr Mallard is, in effect, punishing private education providers for Modern Age's collapse. If he wishes to do this, then he must at least say why," Miss Coddington said.

"Even worse, he has not even had the courtesy to inform private providers that they will have to fork out - I have received numerous calls from these people, angry they haven't been contacted with any information regarding the levy increase.

"Now Mr Mallard has indicated he will force the industry to pay a further $500,000 - advanced from export education levy funds. Not that such a mean-spirited move is unexpected from a Government whose past actions show it's no friend of private providers.

"The Minister and Labour have handled this appallingly. Students were left adrift, and private providers punished. Fortunately, these students will not be left out in the cold. The private English language school industry will honour Modern Age's agreement, with students, by placing them in alternative schools at the cost of around $700,000 to the ELS's.

"But it doesn't end there. The industry has many concerns over this issue - such as when did the Minister and NZQA become aware of the problems with Modern Age, and why didn't they close it down? C'mon Minister, get your act together and sort this mess out," Miss Coddington said.

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