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Let Students Choose to Learn

*PRESS RELEASE*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Education

*Let Students Choose to Learn*

Libertarianz Education Spokesman Phil Howison today labeled a Government plan to halve the number of students allowed to leave school early an "arbitrary and unjustified gesture, which shows no respect for the individual needs of students". The number of 15-year-olds allowed to leave school each year to enter training or employment has already been cut from around 4000 to 2000, and the Ministry of Education plans to reduce this figure to 1000 in the next financial year.

"Most students seeking the early-leaving exemption do not want to be at school and get little out of the experience. They seek permission to leave because they have found employment or training programs better suited to their needs, as should be their right. But the hardline approach of the Education Ministry seeks to force them to remain in school against their will. What possible benefit could result? This will just further victimise students, overwork teachers and increase the burden on taxpayers," Mr. Howison explained.

"Forcing reluctant learners back in the classroom actually disadvantages willing learners, whose classrooms will be disrupted and their teachers distracted. The first act of a Libertarianz education minister would be to abolish the compulsory school leaving age. We believe school leavers would benefit from our relaxation of employment laws making it easier to find a first job, not to mention our policy of making the first $50,000 of income tax free," Phil Howison concluded. "The separation of school and state will allow far greater flexibility in the delivery of education, making schools more responsive to student needs - as opposed to the current one-size-fits-all educational straitjacket provided by the Ministry of Education."

*ENDS*

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