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Christchurch rally to show support for public education

19 February 2012

Immediate Release

Christchurch rally to show support for public education

4 pm at the CBS arena, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington

Christchurch school communities and supporters will gather this afternoon to show support for schools that have been earmarked for closure and merger and to tell the Government that it needs to show more respect for the people of Christchurch.

NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski says educators are very concerned about the pace that the Government wants to impose these changes on Christchurch children and educators.

“We are looking at a much more accelerated process than originally planned. Some schools that had originally been told the changes would take place over four years have now been told that they will be merged by the beginning of next year.

“This is very worrying because it appears the timetable has been set more for political purposes than educational ones.

“Frankly, we have serious doubts about whether the Ministry of Education has the capacity to undertake this process within the proposed timeframe. The Christchurch rebuild has been extremely slow and the experience of other school mergers and closures gives us little confidence.

”We believe there is a very real risk that children’s education will once again be put in jeopardy.”

Ms Nowotarski says the past five months have been extremely difficult for the education community in Christchurch.

“This has been a botched and disrespectful process. The Minister will have to go forward in a much more credible and respectful manner than she has shown in the past.”

Today’s rally will take place at 4 pm at the CBS arena and will be followed by a march to the Ministry of Education offices in Princess St.

ends

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