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New opportunities for Christchurch students

6 May

New opportunities for Christchurch students

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced funding of almost $1 million to establish a new teen parent unit at Christchurch's Linwood College today.

"This unit is the first of its kind in Christchurch and will eventually cater for up to 30 parents," Trevor Mallard said.

"This government believes everyone, regardless of background, deserves a fair go and access to quality education. By supporting initiatives such as the Linwood unit we are ensuring that teenage parents can continue with their education while their children can access quality early childhood education.

"Teenage parents in secondary schools often have educational needs that are not easily catered for through regular mainstream classes. Christchurch's young parents will now have a learning environment with suitable childcare facilities attached and teaching staff who understand the need to balance study with child-raising commitments.

"Lifting the educational success of teenage parents has a great impact on the future success of their children. One of the goals of teen parent units is to provide strong early learning foundations for these children, by encouraging their parents in education and by providing associated early childhood facilities."

Through the unit these young parents are supported in their education directly by their teachers and with support from The Correspondence School courses funded by the Ministry of Education.

The teen parent unit and attached early childhood education centre will be sited on the lower fields at Linwood College and will open at the beginning of Term 1 2005.

"This will be New Zealand's 15th teen parent unit and the second in the South Island. Its establishment will complement and support the excellent work already being done by the existing Karanga Mai Teen Parent Unit at Kaiapoi," Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard was at the school today with Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett to officially open Linwood College's new $500,000 student centre.

"The student centre is another in a range of innovative initiatives from this award-winning school. The multi-purpose area is used for half the day as a modern cafeteria, and after lunch a meeting room and function centre.

"It's a place for students to gather and socialise in a safe and welcoming environment and provides a high quality environment for teaching and learning," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS


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