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


Turner: Deal with the facts on school leavers

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Turner: Deal with the facts on school leavers

The government needs to take a closer look at the numbers of students leaving school with little or no qualifications in order to fix the problem, according to Judy Turner, United Future education spokesperson.

“If one bothers to look closely at figures of those leaving school without even gaining NCEA level 1, it is evident that our boys are under-performing in general, and our Maori boys in particular,” explains Mrs Turner.

Figures from Dr Paul Baker, who has served as a government advisor and is Rector of Waitaki Boys High School, show that after five years of NCEA system, the gender gap measured 10-12 percent in favour of girls. That means for every six girls in New Zealand schools, only five boys pass NCEA level 1.

“All the figures are telling us that boys are falling further behind girls in every level of education,” says Mrs Turner.

The gender gap is also growing at NCEA level 2 and 3, even given that many more boys leave school before senior level. Last year, males comprised 47 per cent of the year 13 roll, and had just 41 per cent of passes.

“I absolutely agree with Dr Baker’s comments when he said that New Zealand’s response to the gap, ‘has been one of denial, delay and trivialisation’.

“This is not a new phenomenon. In 1999, before NCEA was introduced, 38.3% of Maori boys left school without any qualification, 20% higher than the figure for Maori girls. Non-Maori boys were 46% more likely to leave school unqualified than non-Maori girls.

“The problem is that the Government is letting down our young men at school, by refusing to even look at ways to target and find ways to encourage boys to learn and stay in school.

“As a result, boys are falling even further behind the girls under NCEA, and with male teachers becoming scarcer and scarcer the situation will continue to get worse."

Mrs Turner said that it has long been recognised that there is a large ethnicity gap, and that this has been targeted, and is now improving. “So why will the government not help the guys out?” asks Mrs Turner.

“The Government has accepted that there is a significant achievement gender gap against boys, and that they are leaving school earlier and in larger numbers than girls.

“Yet when I asked the Minister what initiatives they are looking at to target and assist boys to close this gap, he couldn’t say.

“If this trend continues unabated as is occurring now, we will soon have an under-class of uneducated, unemployed and unsocial men.

“I urge the Minister to put aside his personal ideological opposition to looking at the gender gap in schools, and deal with the facts,” says Mrs Turner.


© 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