By in large there are three main types of Schools in Christchurch, N.Z as a whole.
PRIVATE: Which is approx. 95% funded by parents, benefactors.
RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS: Which are 80% funded by the taxpayer, the rest by parents.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Which are 95% funded by the taxpayer and the rest by parents.
The National Government announced savage cuts to public schooling in post-earthquake Christchurch last week.
Widespread closures and amalgamations were the order of the day.
All but exempt from the city-wide ‘bloodshed’ were Religious Schools – the very same schools that ask for tax-payer funding, want to be part of ‘the system’ when it suits them.
Faith schools have the beggars bowl out the Government for funding, seek to use the state colloquium but then in the next breath want to be seen as somehow ‘separate’.
I guess that is the key to all religious schools.
Separate children by their parents faith.
There is however one small problem here: it’s taxpayers money they are using to ring fence their way into their version of eternity and the administrator of the tax-system is The New Zealand Government.
All funding comes with strings.
No let me re-phrase that.
All funding should come with strings.
But as we have just seen here in Christchurch when it comes to Religious Education in New Zealand – all schools are not created equal.
Secular Schools are the ‘poor country cousins’
Gerry Brownlee (Earthquake Recovery Minister) the very person who announced these cuts to secular schooling was at one stage a teacher at St Bedes – a Catholic Boys High School – one of the faith based schools exempt ‘the chop’.
National deputy and one time leader Bill English, a fellow Papist, is a staunch advocate for separating all N.Z children based on religious identity.
Yes, Catholic/Faith schools have closed and been amalgamated here in Canterbury.
But this is only as a result of the fact they posed ‘Health and Safety’ issues and not because their rolls had dropped as pupils moved away.
The evolution of charter schools will create more of these isolationist serfdom's, jobs for the dog-collars and more inequities in how New Zealand schools are administered.
New Zealand can never call itself a secular country whilst the state not just financially supports but also grants privilege, as we see here in Christchurch, to the schools who discriminate against those in their communities based on religious beliefs.