Labour’s Working Futures Plan will provide three years of free post-school education across a person’s life so New Zealanders can thrive in the 21st century economy, Opposition Leader Andrew Little announced today.
“The nature of work is changing rapidly and our education system must keep up if we are to seize the opportunities of the future. To compete in the new economy, New Zealand needs one of the best educated workforces in the world.
Student loan debt has increased by over 50 per cent since National became the government, hitting $15 billion this year and projected to continue increasing year on year, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“This is getting out of control. Over two decades after the student loan was introduced, we still haven’t reached the stage where repayments exceed borrowing, and projections suggest we’re not going to get there anytime soon.
The students of Whangaruru are the ultimate victims in the National-ACT Government’s failed charter school experiment which has resulted in a proposal to close their school, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Jenny Salesa says.
“The losers are the taxpayers, as are the kids at schools down the road who receive about a quarter of the funding that went into Whangaruru.
Five high risk tertiary institutions are just the tip of the iceberg that is threatening the sector, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says.
"After a real funding cut in Budget 2015, a massive transfer of resources from the public to private tertiary sector, and weak monitoring and oversight systems, National has no-one to blame but itself.
The Ministry of Education is using a review of special education to push for further cost cutting instead of hearing pleas to properly fund services, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“This fantastic opportunity to improve the lives of children with special needs has been lost on the Ministry.
While National is busy trumpeting less back office public servants, it has glossed over the fact there are fewer frontline staff in special education and teacher numbers are falling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“There are now 41 fewer front line special education staff than there were in 2011. Special education advisors have also been cut by 33 per cent from 171 in 2008 to 116 last year.