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Greens back IHC's human rights complaint

31 July 2008

Greens back IHC's human rights complaint

Green Party is backing IHC's complaint to be laid today with the Human Rights commissioner that Government policy systemically discriminates against children with special education needs.

"It is a national disgrace that these problems have been with us for so long and have still not been addressed by the Government. Children and young people are not being given an adequate education - as guaranteed to them by New Zealand law," Green Party Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"Children with special needs are some of the most marginalised people in New Zealand, with far from adequate support given to them or their caregivers.

"It is a disgraceful truth is that the challenges they face very often arise from systemic discrimination, from inadequate teacher aide funding, to refusing enrolment.

"Forty-four percent of Maori children aren't getting eye or ear tests in primary schools, yet difficulties with sight and hearing are a leading cause of learning and behavioural problems in schools

"Every child has a right to have their educational needs met whether or not they have special learning needs. It is absolutely essential that we put enough money into education to allow this to happen.

"The Green Party has been pushing hard to increase funding for schools and to ring fence special needs funding, both for low and moderate needs students.

"We recognise that early diagnosis is what can most successfully help children overcome their educational challenges, not by letting these kids struggle on until they eventually drop out or get moved to another school or excluded altogether."


ENDS

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