Taxpayers may fund cult schools under school experiment

Published: Sun 29 Jul 2012 03:52 PM
Taxpayers may fund cult schools under Government’s charter school experiment
The Government’s Charter School experiment may allow the Destiny Church to set up a school that can flout the New Zealand curriculum and ignore quality teaching practices.
NZEI Te Riu Roa says it would be extremely concerned about possible teaching standards at any proposed Destiny Church-run charter school.
NZEI President Ian Leckie said that the Government’s charter school experiment would allow extremist religious organisations to set their own education agenda.
Legislation due to be considered by Parliament in September is likely to allow charter schools to employ unqualified and unregistered teachers, and not to follow the New Zealand curriculum.
"For instance, we know that the Destiny Church is not socially tolerant and that it preaches homophobic views and believes that children should be physically punished.  Is this the kind of organisation that should be getting taxpayer funding to run its own education agenda?"
Charter schools are a result of the Act/National party coalition agreement and are based on Act’s education policies of private profit-driven organisations using taxpayer funding to compete with local schools.
Charter schools are an extremely dangerous experiment and are not needed, Mr Leckie says.
The Education Act already allows a huge variety of special character and private schools operating in New Zealand such as total immersion and Kura Kaupapa Maori.  However these schools operate within the system and must comply with the New Zealand curriculum or the Maori Medium Curriculum to ensure education quality.
Charter schools would not have the normal checks and balances to ensure that all children are getting a quality education.
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.
Contact NZEI
Media Contact:
04 382 2703

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