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Education Minister Searching For Solutions

4 May 2006

Education Minister Searching For Solutions

New Zealand First education spokesperson Brian Donnelly has applauded the efforts being made to deal with problems affecting learning in schools, but is urging the Government to ensure the additional funding makes programmes practical, effective and operational as soon as possible.

"International studies have demonstrated that New Zealand schools have some of the highest levels of bullying in the world. This is a serious matter with obvious implications for achievement levels as well as youth suicide statistics, so it is very pleasing to see that there is room in the Budget for initiatives on this front."

Mr Donnelly is warning, however, that the funding of packaged programmes such as Kia Kaha will not in themselves solve the problem. He says the Government needs to use the extra $9.5 million to spread understanding of best practice to all schools in New Zealand and adopt successful programmes that some schools have already created to tackle violent behaviour.

"There is good work already being done in tackling the levels of verbal and physical violence in our schools and it is vital that the Government acts swiftly to implement these initiatives into the school programme," Mr Donnelly said.

ENDS


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