Mana pledge free education for all

The Mana Party is pledging to ensure free education at all levels, promising free early childhood education (ECE), an end to school donations, and the abolishment of tertiary fees.

Mana education spokesman John Minto announced his party’s education policy, which covered four main points yesterday.

To “put the free into free education”, the party proposed giving free ECE to meet parents’ reasonable work needs, stopping the solicitation of donations from parents of school children, winding down and abolishing tertiary fees, and restoring funding for adult education.

The party also said it would introduce a scheme providing free breakfast and lunch for all children, starting with those in decile one to three primary schools, and would drop National Standards.

Maori language would also become compulsory to NCEA Level 1.

The policy focused largely on closing the qualifications gap between Maori and non-Maori, and between rich and poor.

“A 100 per cent free, high quality education system is the best investment a country can make in its own future. Not only is Education not free, it is failing Maori and it is failing the poor. It is time for an overhaul.”

From Otago Daily Times.

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