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National uses earthquakes to privatise education

4 March 2014

National uses earthquakes to privatise education

Fears the National Government is planning to use the Christchurch Earthquake to privatise public education have been realised today with the announcement of the partial privatisation of four new schools, the Green Party said today.

The Minister of Education has just announced that two new public schools planned for Christchurch, and two more in Queenstown and Auckland, will be built and managed by private businesses in a $200 million deal.

The deal includes the creation of the controversial new “super” school in Aranui, Christchurch.

“This shows that the National Government’s privatisation agenda for the public school system is in full swing,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Christchurch kids have suffered enough from stuff ups over the Government’s so-called educational renewal; now the Education Minster is rubbing salt into the wounds by selling off their schools.

“The Green Party believes that profit-making businesses have no place in the public education system, whether they are charter schools or public private partnerships (PPPs).

“The decisions made by schools should always be in the interests of their students. But as soon as you allow businesses to make a profit from those students, the focus goes off the kids and on to the businesses’ bottom line.

“The Green Party has huge concerns about what partially privatised schools mean for the communities in which they’re built. Will people be able to use the school facilities out of hours without paying the business that owns the facility, for example?”

The Green Party has announced plans for schools to be established as school hubs offering social, health and adult education services.

“We’d be concerned if the privately owned and managed schools do not want a health centre onsite or want to charge outside agencies to use the school facilities,” said Ms Delahunty.

Overseas evidence shows that rather than saving time, PPP run schools take up additional principal time to manage the additional contract.

“However you set up a PPP, the public ends up funding the project while the private partner creams profit off the top,” Ms Delahunty said.


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