Victims of the educational marketplace
12 December 2007
5000 “lost” children are victims of the educational
The revelation that more than 5000 students are “lost” from our intermediate and secondary schools is an eye-popping statistic and another example of the fallout from the failure of Tomorrow’s Schools to deliver quality education to kiwi kids.
The 5000 figure was given in Ministry briefing notes to the incoming Minister of Education Chris Carter. When primary numbers are added the figure will be much higher.
Once more the government is promising to get to the bottom of these figures and crack down on truancy but the problem is much wider and deeper. It represents systemic failure from the dismantling of the Department of Education from 1989.
For the past 18 years increasing numbers of students have fallen through the cracks created by the shift of responsibility for education from government to individual school boards from 1989.
In the ensuing years successive governments have known this was a huge and growing problem but have been slow to respond.
The lost kids will once more be predominantly from low income communities and therefore come in under the radar of middle-class interests. This is reflected in the muted reaction to this scandal from politicians.
Robust policy which makes this problem an urgent priority would be a good start.