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Bailey Junior was Hidden by Education Minister

Bailey Junior was Hidden by Education Minister

Tuesday 17 Sep 2002 Donna Awatere Huata Press Releases -- Education

ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata today reiterated her call for the Government to allow the development of high-quality alternative education providers.

"Bailey Junior Kurariki, the youngest youth convicted for his part in the killing of Michael Choy, didn't attend school for two years before the murder. Trevor Mallard justifies this by saying that Bailey was in Correspondence School.

"That is a cop out. The Correspondence School is designed to cater for children from far-flung rural areas. It is not designed to carry the overload of children with massive behavioural problems that no other school can deal with.

"Trevor Mallard and the Secretary of Education have actively encouraged schools that can't cope with children to put those kids in Correspondence. Both this Government and the previous National Government have used the Correspondence system to hide long-term truants and school drop outs. That's immoral.

"Trevor Mallard believes every child should fit into state schools, and if kids create too much trouble, he hides them away in Correspondence School.

"On paper, these kids are being educated. In reality, they have licence to roam the streets committing crime.

"Mr Mallard closed down Auckland's Metropolitan College, but hasn't allowed any new, alternative providers to create opportunities for at-risk children, anywhere in the country.

"Mr Mallard's ideological opposition to choice in education is a fundamental problem. We must address rocketing youth crime. We cannot do so until we stop hiding our school system's `failures' in the Correspondence system," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

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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