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New opportunities for Manukau City students

17 December 2004

New opportunities for Manukau City students

Manurewa MP Hon George Hawkins today announced funding of almost $1 million to establish a new teen parent unit attached to James Cook High School.

This unit is the first of its kind in Manukau City and will eventually cater for up to 30 parents and 30 pre-schoolers.

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

"Teenage parents in secondary schools often have educational needs that are not easily catered for through regular mainstream classes. Manukau’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," George Hawkins said.

The teen parent unit and attached early childhood education centre will eventually be sited near the Clendon Town Centre. The centre will be in temporary accommodation until the new buildings are completed around mid - 2005.

This will be New Zealand's 16th teen parent unit and the second in the greater Auckland area. Until now, the Manukau teen parent students had been participating in an education programme run as an Alternative Education centre by the Taonga Education Trust.

ENDS

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