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Tick for Kids Gets Big Tick From Internet Party

Tick for Kids Gets Big Tick From Internet Party

An initiative to ensure the interests of New Zealand kids are a key election focus is being strongly backed by the Internet Party.

The Tick for Kids campaign aims to make children’s rights and interests a central focus of the 2014 election campaign and the 2014-17 parliamentary term through local community-based action and activities.

Internet Party leader Laila Harré joined the launch of the campaign at Grey Lynn School in Auckland today.

“The Internet Party agrees that children need to be front and centre this election campaign,” she said. “Recent polls (Colmar Brunton and Roy Morgan, February 2014) show child poverty and inequality are among top issues for New Zealanders, but many people still underestimate the size of the problem and its impact.”

Ms Harré said the Internet Party was concerned about the impact of the “digital divide” on children from poorer families, the adverse effects of National Standards on education and the cycle of disadvantage caused by poverty.

“The digital divide between the haves and have-nots is widening. More than 200,000 households – 69,000 of which have school-aged children – can’t afford the Internet or lack the ability to get online and benefit from what the Internet offers, particularly in terms of educational opportunities.

“We have promised to step up the Computers in Homes programme so that all households with school-aged children are online within five years, and to expand public Internet access facilities in schools, libraries, marae, councils and community centres through a mix of local business sponsorship and direct government support.”

Ms Harré said National Standards were failing young New Zealanders and needed to be urgently reviewed.

“Audit-driven National Standards for primary school kids divert teachers from their true mission – to educate kids and prepare them for the modern world. National Standards threaten to destroy one of the great strengths of our education system – the recognition that children have different academic abilities and need to be able to learn and develop at the level of their current ability. We’ll undertake a review of National Standards with a view to rewriting them or dropping them altogether.”

Breaking the cycle of Kiwi kids trapped in poverty was vital, said Ms Harré. Giving those children a strong voice in this election campaign would be a key focus for the Internet Party-MANA Movement alliance, Internet MANA.

“Child poverty creates disadvantage throughout life. Poverty and a feeling of being excluded impacts on voter turnout. Internet MANA wants to turn this around so that instead of people thinking ‘I don’t count, so I won’t vote’, poorer families can say ‘my vote is a powerful tool in getting get positive change for our kids and the country’.

“As Tick for Kids says, ‘It takes a child to raise a country’.”

ENDS

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