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Environmental education to get a huge boost

10 May 2006

Environmental education to get a huge boost

Education for sustainability will get a major boost in this Budget with a big increase in environmental education spending over the next four years thanks to a Green Party Budget initiative.

Greens' Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says she is thrilled to announce $13 million dollars over four years for environmental education support for teachers and school children. This funding comes as a result of the Greens' and Labour agreement negotiated after the 2005 election.

"I am so pleased that Education Minister Steve Maharey supported this original Green initiative to ensure our children have the knowledge and skills to protect New Zealand's future. We must face squarely the impacts of climate change, increasing energy demand, more expensive and less accessible oil and polluted natural resources.

"I am especially pleased to see money for a matauranga Maori - a national programme coordinator. Many kura I have visited want to develop a program of education for sustainability, but say that the support and Reo resources are just not available. This money should help to deal with this barrier.

The funding, which will progressively increase over the next four years, will be used in three areas.

A total of $7.4 million will build and support the national coordination of the existing Education for Sustainability programme. These very committed educationalists support and advise our teachers so that they can meet the objectives of the Education Ministry's environmental education guidelines. This funding will also support teacher release days.

A further $4.6 million will go to the Enviroschools Foundation to support their excellent programmes. This money will support the programme's national coordination and regional support. Money will also be set aside for the development and revision of resources, especially those in Te Reo.

A total of $800,000 will go to Matauranga Maori national coordination, to develop resources and coordination for total immersion and kaupapa Maori schools.

$50,000 per year over four years will also be used to independently evaluate the programme.

"By teaching children and young people about the impacts of human behaviour on the natural environment and encouraging ideas and practical skills for sustainability, we are future-proofing our nation and protecting our environment and economy for many more generations to come.

ENDS

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