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Mana Releases Education Policy

Mana Releases Education Policy

The main policy points are:

1. Put the free into free education at all levels

Comment: This means free ECE to meet parents’ reasonable work needs, no soliciting of donations from parents of school children, winding down and abolishing of tertiary fees, restoring funding for Adult and Community Education)

2. Maori language compulsory to Level 1 NCEA

Comment: It’s time for us to take the next logical step and bring Maori language into the compulsory school curriculum. This would build greater understanding and respect for Maori language and culture and help strengthen cultural understanding in coming generations.

3. Feed the kids

Comment: Mana would provide free breakfast and lunch for all children starting with kids in decile one to three primary schools. This would involve bringing parents in as helpers and taking education back to homes.

4. Abolish national standards

Comment: Every teacher in every classroom in every school knows the kids who need extra help. National standards are there to push competition rather than co-operation between schools. Instead we should be raising student achievement. We would increase funding for programs which have been shown to improve educational achievement for Maori and Pacifika children and other children from low income communities.

The policy:

Education

A 100% free, high quality education system is the best investment a country can make in its own future. Not only is Education not free, it is failing Maori and it is failing the poor. It is time for an overhaul.

The qualifications gap between the rich and the poor and between Māori and nonMāori must be closed to give every school leaver similar opportunities to get jobs or to get into higher education.

Learners from poor communities get much fewer qualifications than those from the more well off areas. And Māori get much fewer qualifications than non Māori whatever the neighbourhood, rich or poor.

This matters because this is what school leavers are judged on for their first few jobs or to get into most tertiary level courses.

The gap begins early with younger Maori and younger low income mothers giving birth with fewer resources and skills to give their children the best start.

It continues at preschool where Maori and low income families are less likely to access early childhood education at all.

When they do access it, they are limited by the costs and by availability whether in state, community or privately owned ECE.

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