Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Alternative Education a dumping ground

Alternative Education a dumping ground for mainstream education failure

Te Ururoa Flavell, Education Spokesperson for the Maori Party Thursday 10 August 2006

Maori Party education spokesperson, Te Ururoa Flavell, today spoke of his frustration with the way in which the state is treating alternative education.

"Earlier this week, the Social Report announced that the proportion of Maori school leavers with qualifications higher than NCEA Level 1 had increased from 45% in 2003 to 47% in 2004" said Mr Flavell.

"Although we say a big Ups to all our whanau and all our kura who have helped make the difference for their tamariki, the gaps between European and Asian school leavers leave some pretty big questions in my mind" said Mr Flavell.

In 2004, 74% of European and 87% of Asian students left school with qualifications higher than NCEA Level 1.

"That's a massive difference" said Mr Flavell. "The proportion of our Maori students who leave school with qualifications higher than level one, is up to thirty percentage points behind other students. That this should be occuring in 2006, is outrageous. It would appear two standards of citizenship apply".

"Almost ten years after alternative education has been around, I think we need to have a good look at the systems that are available to support our rangatahi from leaving school without being set up for life" said Mr Flavell.

The Maori Party has been listening to the concerns of whanau and providers throughout Aotearoa, about the inadequacy of resourcing available to foster alternative education.

"Alternative education looks after our most challenging kids, the ones who have become alienated from school, who have dropped out - labelled an 'at risk student' - those rangatahi who have experienced little success in their schooling to date" explained Mr Flavell.

"Between 2005 and 2006, the expectation of the Ministry of Education was that the numbers of students in this category would rise from 2800 to 3500 - and yet the funding has remained static" said Mr Flavell.

"In Whanganui for instance, they have reached their ceiling limit of thirty students - and yet another fifty are on the waiting list. In Taranaki the numbers attracted to their programme are over-flowing, and yet funding is woefully inadequate. In Blenheim we heard about one high school with a roll over 1000, ten percent Maori, and they were struggling to name one Maori student left in Year 13. I had to ask -where are all our rangatahi Maori going?"

"Back in 1998, the Ministry had just 400 students on their books (in alternative education) - and like the escalating prison numbers; the ever-increasing numbers of New Zealanders below the poverty line; the marked gap in life expectancy - here is another statistical blow-out in which Maori are pre-dominant".

"I feel for all those providers who are slogging it out, with little funding but heaps of aroha, and the system shuts them out" said Mr Flavell.

"You would think that New Zealanders would far prefer to invest in the potential of these young people to experience success, than have their taxes squandered on the massive budget over-run of the Corrections department, or the six million dollar spin to get Aussies to our shores".

"Alternative education has become a dumping ground for mainstream education failure" ended Mr Flavell.

"It has become a vicious cycle - the provider is starved of funding, they are unable to employ qualified staff or provide a full range of opportunities because the cupboard is bare, and so these kids, our kids, miss out again".


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election