Parents dismayed by merger of Kawerau schools
Thu, 12 Jul 2012 10:38p.m.
By Ingrid Hipkiss
Kawerau parents say they're devastated that a High Court judge has ruled Kawerau Intermediate must close.
The judge upheld the Government's plan to merge the intermediate with the local college next year.
Last year Kawerau Intermediate students, parents and staff came by the busload to Wellington, hoping to persuade the Government to save their school.
When that didn't work they headed to the High Court – but now that bid has failed too.
“This isn't something we wanted as a community, this isn't something we thought was right for our children, so complete devastation is what I’m feeling right now,” says Anneke Hepi from the Kawerau Intermediate board of trustees.
The Ministry of Education has appointed statutory managers to run the troubled Kawerau College, but parents say problems with drugs, violence and gang prospecting mean it’s not a safe environment for younger children.
“I'm definitely against mixing my little boy with any college age kids,” says parent Dennis Te Riini.
Fellow parent Stephanie Tuhoro is also concerned.
“Our girls here, our year sevens, the saddest part is they’ve got to leave this school and at the moment a lot of parents are not sure where they’re going to send them to,” she says.
The ministry says the new combined school will be better resourced and will hopefully reduce community problems like teenage pregnancy and suicide, but parents still aren't convinced.
“You can expect to see a lot of broken hearts, of upset families, of unsureness in the community. We've been ripped apart,” says Ms Tuhoro.
Now the community is being urged to join together to make the new joint school a success.
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24/07/2012 1:09:37 a.m.
Shen R wrote:
I used to live there and often visit as my whanau are there, i hate what the ignorant govt. have done. and to me it aint right, i know several people who go to kawerau college and kawerau college is just as bad as manawatu college. merging the 2 kura together, to me the enviroment to going to enable the kids to grow up faster and having kids growing up thinking "i'm an adult" is how pregnancy and what not begin.
however, nga mihi whanau, hope all is well otherwise.
17/07/2012 6:06:12 p.m.
I think re-organising the merged school into two parts would be wise. A middle school (yrs 7-10) and a senior school (yrs 11-13). It keeps students with those nearer their age group, and fosters better community within each half of the school.
14/07/2012 12:44:28 a.m.
the only thing i've ever come across that justifies merging schools at all is when the population in the area is simply too small to support them. (and the government has a nasty habit of defining 'the area' as rather larger than i would.)
there's a case to be made that intermediate schools should go a year or two longer, mind, but merging up? no. bad idea. there's a reason why NZ schools were set up so the intermediate school years were part of the PRIMARY schools.
13/07/2012 10:46:41 a.m.
How on earth will the combining of the 2 schools reduce pregnancy and suicide??? That is one of the daftest things I have ever heard. If anything, it may become WORSE and the teens younger. I went to a college with what would be intermediate aged tweens and everything was perfectly fine. Possibly because the older kids didnt associate with those that young and we all kept to the designated area for play time etc. it worked and worked extremely well. We did not have problems with any gangs, drugs, there may have been a pregnancy or 2, I dont know. But I can understand what these parents are saying. These youngsters should NOT be anywhere near those prospecting, drugs and sex etc. they have just graduated from babyhood for christsake, they shouldnt even know what half of this shite is! Shame on the Ministry. Shame on them trying to say it will help alleviate those extremely serious issues. Not on.
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