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Government urged to save the School Journal and Learning Media

8 May 2013

Government urged to save the School Journal and Learning Media

The Government must get hands on and act urgently to save the School Journal and its publishers Learning Media, which is struggling because of Government funding changes, the Green Party said today.

“Learning Media has warned the Government, under the no surprises policy, that it is struggling under a new competitive model. That the future of Learning Media may be threatened is devastating news for the education sector and anyone who has ever enjoyed the school journal,” Green Party associate education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“It would be a national tragedy if the organisation that’s published the school journal for the past 106 years was allowed to disintegrate because this Government has misdirected its time and resources by forcing it to tout for business.

“Generations of kiwi kids have grown up reading stories by Margaret Mahy and others, in the School Journal.

“Learning Media is an institutional home for some of the world’s best talent in the production of educational resources which our public education system has relied on for decades.

“Till September last year Learning Media had a preferred provider arrangement with the Education Ministry, which meant it was able to concentrate on providing world leading resources for the education sector here and overseas.

“But since September, the Government has forced learning Media to compete to produce almost all its work, requiring it to introduce a whole new expensive layer to its business, that has directed time, energy and resources into pitching for contracts.

“That Learning Media is struggling in this environment is not an indication that other organisations do better work, as Finance Minister Bill English implied on National Radio this morning. What it shows is that forcing an educational asset like Learning Media to waste resources on contract competition is false economy for our children’s learning and is putting that learning at risk,” Ms Delahunty said.

ends

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