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"Know Your Place" Is The Mallard Message

Education Minister Trevor Mallard appears to be determined to keep under-achievers at “ground zero” of the education system, ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff said today.

Mr Eckhoff was commenting after he was unsuccessful last night in seeing his Targeted Individual Entitlement Scheme Bill through to the Select Committee stage.

Mr Eckhoff said his Bill would allow parents to send their children to a school or specialist learning institution of their choice, and would benefit needy families in particular.

“The only thing more disappointing than not getting my Bill through, was the reaction of Trevor Mallard during the debate in the House,” Mr Eckhoff said.

“Mr Mallard is not keen on the idea of seeing children from lower socio-economic group stepping up to a better opportunity.

“To suggest that their community would lose some sort of cultural capital if the children were educated elsewhere, was akin to saying poor kids should know their place,” Mr Eckhoff said.

“I have heard Ministers suggest some pretty dumb things in my time, but that beats the lot.” Mr Eckhoff said the Minister’s reaction during last night’s debate was the type expected from someone who was “intellectually barren.”

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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