Too com­pet­i­tive

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Editor,

Your ar­ti­cle on Small Sto­ries and the Porirua Al­ter­na­tive School set up in the 1980s prompted me to re­spond by con­grat­u­lat­ing Lloyd Martin and his wife for their ded­i­ca­tion and tenac­ity in pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices and guid­ance to our lo­cal youth over the past 20-plus years.

They have given their all to take the dis­af­fected, cast-out stu­dents from our schools and helped to turn their lives around by fos­ter­ing self-be­lief, as well as trust in their men­tors and their own abil­i­ties to achieve ed­u­ca­tion­ally. Kei te mihi whanui atu ki a raoa!

Un­for­tu­nately, most of our schools are locked into a sys­tem whereby stu­dents are placed in sin­gle-aged co­horts from their in­fant years to the end of their sec­ondary school­ing.

In other words, they are forced into a com­pet­i­tive environment from age five to 15. As a re­sult we get a few win­ners and many losers.

It’s the lat­ter who end up with the Lloyd Martins of so­ci­ety if they are lucky. Many, how­ever, turn to crime as a form of ret­ri­bu­tion against a so­ci­ety that cre­ated their anti-so­cial sta­tus.

I be­lieve that schools should or­gan­ise all their stu­dents into multi-aged group­ings to help them to ap­pre­ci­ate and en­joy the con­cept of an ex­tended fam­ily where co­op­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion re­places the com­pet­i­tive, dog-eat-dog ethic.

Teach­ers would then have to con­cen­trate on thor­ough plan­ning to en­sure qual­ity learn­ing takes place rather than on lec­tur­ing from the front of the class­room.

In due course there will be no need for al­ter­na­tive school­ing op­tions. DICK GRACE, Plim­mer­ton.

Dredg­ing ad­vo­cate Jenny Brash, our former mayor, has been right all along. Har­bour ‘‘restora­tion’’ is the pub­lished head­line, but that’s not part of the pro­gramme.

The rest is a patch-up job deal­ing with im­me­di­ate prob­lems within the sur­round­ing catch­ment.

We need some­thing bet­ter than that.

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