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School Drop Outs Labour's Legacy

School Drop Outs Labour's Legacy

Tuesday 23 Sep 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

Education Ministry figures showing that 20 percent of students who left school last year did so without any formal qualification are a sad indictment on Education Minister Trevor Mallard's `one-size-fits-all' approach to education, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Last year, over 9,600 children dropped out of the education system. Many of these youngsters are destined for unemployment and failure," Miss Coddington said.

"The Canterbury Development Corporation has found that 37 percent of students who left school early did not have a job or further education to go to. Instead, they became a burden to hard-working New Zealand taxpayers.

"It is disgraceful that Mr Mallard is unconcerned at the level of school drop-outs, and has given up on nearly 10,000 kids. A decent education is the only way our young people will get a head start in life. These figures show they have lost faith in themselves and their future.

"Principal Janice Campbell was right when she said there is little chance of these school leavers finding work, as they had `lost heart' in their studies. Labour's `one-size-fits -all' philosophy prevents children, who are failing in the State school system, to seek alternative schooling that would better suit their learning needs.

"Until the Minister gets his head out of the sand, these statistics will only get worse. Children trapped by Labour's rigid zoning laws, and its refusal to fund all children, regardless of who owns the school buildings, will leave a generation of our kids on the scrapheap.

"ACT will not accept the tradgedy of this situation. We will reverse this worrying trend by allowing every parent the freedom to choose the education provider best suited for their child. Unlike Labour, ACT is determined to have no child left behind," Miss Coddington said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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