Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty.
NZEI President Judith Nowotarski said the high level of child poverty in a country as wealthy as New Zealand was a disgrace and threatened to cripple our future potential.
"No matter how fantastic a teacher is, the socio-economic background of a child is by far the biggest indicator of educational success. We want every child to reach their potential, but that is difficult for children who live in transient, unhealthy homes with near-empty fridges," she said.
“I hope that the Prime Minister looks beyond Treasury and other government officials for new ideas and also seeks the input of the many community groups that work to help struggling families and have great insight into what will make a difference.
"Teachers, principals and support staff daily face the consequences of poverty in New Zealand and call for it to be addressed if our kids are to reach their true potential,” said Ms Nowotarski.
“We have a moral obligation to give these vulnerable kids a better future. But even from a purely economic point of view, it’s madness to let a large number of our people slide into a lifetime of poverty and all the health, crime and unemployment costs that go with it,” she said.
“I understand that Social Development Minister Paula Bennett wants the government to get the health and education sectors working together to find solutions. NZEI would welcome the opportunity to be part of those discussions,” she said.