Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Impact of poverty on education not understood

13 September, 2012
Immediate Release

Impact of poverty on education not understood

Principal of Otahuhu College Gil Laurenson says that the impact of poverty - including poor housing, diet and violence - on families and kids’ education is not understood by governments.

He says despite battling huge odds, the gap in educational achievement is closing in South Auckland, with the help of families, good programmes and money to fund them.

Mr Laurenson will be talking at a fono in South Auckland on September 15 which will be focussing on how we make every local school a great school and respond in particular to the needs of Maori and Pasifika learners.

He says one of the initiatives at his school involves a three-way conversation between the teacher, the student and their family. He says family engagement makes huge difference to student achievement and their future direction.

He says programmes at Otahuhu College such as the Health Sciences programme, which is part funded by the Counties-Manukau DHB, is having great successes but he is concerned about what happens if funding for such programmes dries up.

His school is proof that huge strides can be made for all learners within the public education system if they are given the right support and he is sceptical about the worth of charter schools.

“Why can’t we base huge changes in our education system on sound academic research rather on the whim of some coalition agreement (between political parties)?”

Gil also says that early childhood education is vital - so that kids start school on the same footing.

“We just can’t wave a magic wand when a kid turns up (at high school) and expect them to catch up.”

The event will include people from both the community and the education sector.

NZEI Area Council chair and principal at May Road School, Lynda Stuart, says many community groups have expressed an interest in the fono and will be attending.

She says the attack on education is something that affects the whole community and the whole community wants to get involved.

Some of the guests at the fono include education heavyweights Professor Martin Thrupp who will talk about National Standards and league tables and John O’Neill, Professor at Massey University and Peter O’Connor, Associate Professor at Auckland University Faculty of Education, who will speak about charter schools.

There will also be a panel discussion entitled “What will make the difference for Pasifika students?” This includes Jacqui Passi, a teacher at Waitakere College; Damon Salesa, Associate Professor for Pasifika Studies at the University of Auckland; Efeso Collins, Samoan Youth Advocate; Shirley Maihi, principal of Finlayson Park School and Ant Backhouse.

South Auckland Education Fono, 9am-2pm, Saturday, 15 September, Otahuhu Town Hall.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland