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Online learning centres `a Trojan horse'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/08/2016

Labour says the government is using Education Minister Hekia Parata's modernisation of the education system as a Trojan horse for privatisation. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Labour says the government is using Education Minister Hekia Parata's modernisation of the education system as a Trojan horse for privatisation. The government's proposed online learning centres are a way of privatising the education system by stealth, Labour says.

Education Minister Hekia Parata on Tuesday unveiled a plan to create the centres, which can be privately-run, saying they'll be in addition to normal schooling and there will be a rigorous accreditation process.

The Greens and NZ First have criticised the plan, while Labour says it's a Trojan horse for privatisation.

"It could see students sitting at home in their bedrooms with a laptop receiving their tuition from a foreign corporation - that's what this law change allows," said education spokesman Chris Hipkins.

"How long will it be before Hekia Parata starts using the availability of online learning alternatives as an excuse to close down small schools?"

Mr Hipkins says the government didn't consult experts before "charging ahead" with the plan.

"National's agenda is being driven by a desire to cut costs and privatise. It's certainly not being driven by education and research," he said.

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