Let our kids have the chance to dream

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE -

I amvery con­cerned about the pro­posed cur­ricu­lum changes by the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion to ‘‘dig­i­talise’’ our preschool chil­dren from 4-5 years on­wards, sup­pos­edly in order for them to not ‘‘miss out’’ later in a world of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and dig­i­tal skill needs.

How­ever, I un­der­stand that not all Hutt Val­ley schools, and cer­tainly not all par­ents and teach­ers, share this view to ac­cel­er­ate the young child’s ab­stract dig­i­tal logic, com­pu­ta­tional skills, as well as the vir­tual re­al­ity it en­hances.

There is a hid­den cost to this process of pro­mot­ing in­tel­lec­tual logic too early, re­plac­ing the nat­u­ral imag­i­na­tive and cre­ative won­der­ing at­ti­tude of child­hood, in which imag­i­na­tion ranks higher than ab­stract logic, and where the heart is still dom­i­nant over the head.

The hu­man child takes very long to be­come an adult in qual­i­ties of think­ing, feel­ing and will­ing. That is why the stage of in­no­cent child­hood is im­por­tant to ex­plore the world and self in an un­hur­ried way. There is still plenty of time in later years for ab­stract in­tel­lec­tual logic to com­ple­ment the free-flow­ing imag­i­na­tion of child­hood.

Let the child re­main a child rather than has­ten­ing it in speed to be­come a skill­ful cal­cu­lat­ing mind in a rapidly de­hu­man­is­ing world of pure (in­tel­lec­tual) logic.

Dr Rene de Monchy

Alice­town

SAFE CY­CLE TRAILS

This time in the elec­tion pe­riod three years ago, Na­tional promised $100 mil­lion on new cy­cle trails around the coun­try in­clud­ing two in Lower Hutt to en­able peo­ple to ride safely off road to East­bourne and a new belt­way loop link­ing the Hutt Hos­pi­tal, to schools, the CBD, shop­ping ar­eas, and the Water­loo and Melling train sta­tions. It sounded too good to be true. And it was. Three years later and not a sin­gle one of these two projects has been com­pleted. The shared path to East­bourne hasn’t even been started!

Safe, off-road cy­cle trails are a fea­ture of the most liv­able cities in the world and are also one of the best in­vest­ments we can make to ad­dress con­ges­tion on our roads and obe­sity in our chil­dren. It’s time politi­cians kept their prom­ises and just got on and built them.

Robert Ashe

East­bourne, Lower Hutt

SPEND­ING EX­CES­SIVE

I to­tally agree with Graeme Bar­low ( Hutt News, Au­gust 15) that the rates in­crease for Pe­tone res­i­dents of 13.6 per cent is un­ac­cept­able. While the Hutt City Coun­cil has been in the pa­pers for their ‘‘lav­ish’’meet­ing meals and ex­ces­sive lawyer fees, this is peanuts to the ex­ces­sive spend­ing coun­cil is in­tend­ing over the next few years build­ing more as­sets.

The River­link project, at a cost of $39 mil­lion, com­mu­nity hubs cost­ing $15m, Event Cen­tre cost­ing $4m, Sportsville cost­ing $11m.

Don’t be fooled by think­ing the coun­cil’s $39m is for flood pro­tec­tion work - that bud­get comes from the Re­gional Coun­cil. The $39m is to build a view­ing area (Prom­e­nade) for the river. There al­ready is one north of the Ewan bridge - and it is never used. It seems to me that coun­cil­lors want to leave their own legacy, they want to be able to say in their re­tire­ment ‘‘I built that’’.

But in the mean­time ex­ist­ing as­sets re­quire se­ri­ous main­te­nance which is be­ing over­looked. There are pot­holes in Queen’s Drive. Pe­tone Es­planade floods af­ter ev­ery heavy rain­fall. When is ba­sic main­te­nance go­ing to pre­vail over in-house bick­er­ing and legacy build­ing?

MJ Lewis

Pe­tone

WRITE TO US

Do you feel strongly about an is­sue in your com­mu­nity or have some­thing to say about our city? Con­tact us at ed­i­tor@hut­tnews.co.nz or via Neigh­bourly. Please in­clude your full name, ad­dress and con­tact num­ber. No anony­mous let­ters will be ac­cepted. Let­ters are pub­lished at the ed­i­tor’s dis­cre­tion.

Politi­cians have bro­ken their prom­ises to cy­clists.

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