INDEPENDENT NEWS

Our Youngest Kids Go Without

Published: Mon 27 Aug 2001 05:05 PM
Our Youngest Kids Go Without
Monday, August 27 2001
Donna Awatere Huata
Press Releases -- Primary & Secondary Education
The Ministry of Education Report into early childhood education underlines Trevor Mallard's cynical treatment of our youngest kids, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today.
"Getting in early is the only way we can hope to reduce spiralling drop-out and illiteracy figures.
"Mr Mallard is starving the early childhood sector of funds, yet grandstands about making preschool compulsory for every four year-old. The Ministry of Education Report highlights his lack of credibility.
"Only eight per cent of the Budget's $320m increase for education was destined to help early childhood education this year: that tells us more about Trevor Mallard's priorities than any of his empty rhetoric.
"A lack of teacher training standards cripples the education of kids who do make it into kindergartens, kohanga reo and creches. This problem is identifiable by any parent, yet has been cynically ignored by Mr Mallard.
"Our most destitute kids miss out completely on any level of early education. Low participation rates for Maori and Pacific Island children correspond to increased drop-out figures later in life.
"Periodic episodes of grandstanding from Mr Mallard do not help educate the young kids who desperately need a head-start. It's time for him to pay more attention to this vital sector," Donna 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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