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Homeopathy for pets – a strategic priority?

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

15 March 2005

Homeopathy for pets – a strategic priority?

National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, says Labour’s identification of ‘homeopathy for pets’ as a strategic priority for tertiary education funding is further evidence of a botched tertiary education strategy.

The Bay of Plenty College of Homeopathy receives funding out of the Tertiary Education Commission’s strategic priorities fund to run its Diploma of Homeopathy (Animal Health).

According to TEC, the strategic priorities fund was established to target funding to provide ‘the opportunity to focus growth in student component funding and new provision into areas aligned with the tertiary education strategy, where they provide excellent education and training in areas that are important for national goals’.

Other courses funded out of the $23.8 million pool include the Certificate in Nail Technology, which deals with pedicures and manicures, the Certificate in Art of Health, which promises to lead to the ‘reaffirming of our humanity, enabling us to find balance of soul and inner independence’, the Certificate in Fashion Makeup, which includes ‘glamour, sultry and metallic’and the Certificate in Contemporary Urban Music.

Mr English says he does not believe the homeopathic needs of cats, dogs and budgies is an issue of national educational importance.

“Labour’s funding priorities are all wrong. Since it came into office, funding for tertiary education has grown at three times the rate of primary and secondary education, and funding for trade training is so tight that apprentices are being laid off.”

Despite increasing demand for trade training, organisations such as the electrical trades training organisation have been denied additional government funding. Some apprentices in Marlborough have been laid off until more public money becomes available.

“The courses receiving money from Labour’s flagship strategic priorities fund are hand-picked by TEC. When they are choosing to pour money into pedicures and homeopathy for pets, at the expense of the trades and other areas of serious skill shortage, it’s obvious that Labour’s strategy has failed,” says Mr English.

“This is the same strategy that has seen more than $1.75 billion hosed away on the 70% of sub-degree students who fail to complete their courses.

“This slush fund is an insult to laid-off apprentices and to the parents of school children out raising hundreds of millions of dollars to employ teachers and keep schools above board.”

ENDS

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