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Race to remain an issue in education

16 December 2004

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

Race to remain an issue in education

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says race will remain an issue in education despite funding changes announced today.

"National has forced the Government's hand on race-based funding in education, but the soft bigotry of low expectations in the education sector won't change overnight," says Mr English.

Trevor Mallard, who is Minister of Education and the Co-ordinating Minister for Race Relations, released the first round of the review's findings today.

As a result of the review, the race-based funding component will be removed from the formula for schools and early childhood centres.

Mr English says race-based funding in education has been a demeaning branding exercise.

"On the surface that exercise is over, but we are left with an entire generation of students, parents and teachers who have been told that race determines ability.

"Labour can fiddle all they like but treatyology and low expectations are rife in the education sector and that won't change with a review conducted by the very bureaucrats who made the mess in the first place."

Official papers show that ethnicity will continue to play an integral part in the allocation of education funds.

The Teacher's Council Code of Ethics, released yesterday, says 'Application of the Code of Ethics shall take account of the requirements of the law as well as the obligation of teachers to honor the Treaty of Waitangi by paying particular attention to the rights and aspirations of Maori as tangata whenua'.

"Edicts like this show that the leopard has not changed its spots," says Mr English

"Labour believes that Maori and Pacific students are victims in need of help. Their view is that thousands of students can't learn because they are brown.

"National is committed to changing this culture. Every child observes the opportunity of an excellent education - on their merits".

ENDS


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