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Literacy scheme an admission of failure

Hon Bill English MP National Spokesman

23 March 2004

Literacy scheme an admission of failure

The Government's extension of a professional literacy programme for schools is a belated admission of failure, says National's Education spokesman Bill English.

"Far too many children are leaving primary school without basic literacy knowledge.

"National brought in nationwide testing of nine-year olds to measure literacy and combat underachievement. Labour scrapped that scheme at the insistence of the teacher's unions. Adding a limited number of schools to a new teaching programme does not make up for that.

"Teaching literacy should be the fundamental job of every primary school. Professional literacy support should be available to every school that needs it, not just those on a special project.

"Every child should leave school knowing how to read and write, no matter where they live or what their parents income is.

"Today's announcement will benefit some secondary school students whose literacy is not up to scratch, but for too many New Zealand children, it's too little, too late," said Mr English.

Ends

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