INDEPENDENT NEWS

Will Mallard Really Establish a Truancy Database?

Published: Fri 20 Sep 2002 04:14 PM
Will Mallard Really Establish a Truancy Database?
ACT education spokesman Donna Awatere Huata has welcomed the Education Minister's pledge to establish a central database to monitor truancy.
But Mrs Awatere Huata is still sceptical about Trevor Mallard's commitment to the proposed database.
"I've been fighting for 18 months to have a truancy database set up. After dozens of questions to the Minister, a number of Official Information Act requests and several letters, Mr Mallard has finally backed down.
"The Minister's decision is a victory for children who have slipped through the cracks and been forgotten by the system. But by planning to spend only $250,000 on the proposed database, I wonder how seriously Mr Mallard takes the issue of truancy.
"Do we have to wait for the Minister to be publicly embarrassed before he makes a real commitment?
"The Minister needs to set a deadline to have the database established. After all, Mr Mallard promised to set up a database in 1996 as the Opposition spokesman for education.
"This issue is not going away. I will continue my campaign until the database comes to fruition because our children deserve it," Donna Awatere Huata said.

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