John Key's Campaign Blog
14 October 2008
Yesterday I flew to Gisborne to announce National's crusade on literacy and numeracy.
I got a great welcome when I visited Kaiti Primary and Gisborne Boys High schools to speak to pupils and staff. [Click
the image for video from this trip]
Education is something I'm really passionate about. The fact is that we need to provide children with decent literacy
and numeracy skills.
Under our National Standards policy, we will set standards in literacy and numeracy and require every primary and
intermediate school pupil to be assessed regularly against them.
Schools will have to explain to parents in plain English how their child is doing compared to these National Standards
and compared to other children their age.
I care about the future of our children, and their future can only be guaranteed if they have a decent education.
It will be one of the ways that New Zealanders can measure me by - through my desire to see our education system produce
better educated young people.
Our crusade on literacy and numeracy will cost $47 million a year, including $18 million targeted at pupils who aren't
meeting National Standards, $4 million to tackle the problem of truancy, and extra money for children with special
At the moment there are too many young people - one in five in fact - who are leaving school without the qualifications
and skills they need to succeed.
Those kids are New Zealand's future.
If we don't get this basic building block right, we won't get far.
National headlines: 13 October
Key launches literacy and numeracy crusade
National Party Leader John Key says providing New Zealand children with decent literacy and numeracy skills is an
important priority for him, and is made all the more urgent in uncertain economic times.
Labour is writing cheques it can't cash
Helen Clark needs to tell New Zealanders how she plans to fund her parade of new spending announcements, including the
big spending plan to introduce universal student allowances.
Labour's broken promise No 10 on law and order: tougher sentences for illegal drugs
Labour has failed to fulfil promises it made at the last election to change the law concerning crimes involving the use
of methamphetamine, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.
Labour can't be trusted on waiting lists
Labour is hiding the true state of elective surgery, with more questions than answers in yesterday's health targets