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Thread: NZ no children's paradise

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default NZ no children's paradise

    Unicef says NZ no 'children's paradise'
    5:00AM Thursday February 15, 2007
    By Simon Collins

    New Zealand's cherished reputation as a "children's paradise" has been shattered by a new Unicef report which ranks the country in the bottom half of developed countries on two-thirds of the measures of children's wellbeing.

    The report, published in Europe overnight, shows that New Zealand children die from accidents and injuries at a higher rate than in any of 24 other developed countries.

    New Zealand scores best on educational achievement, ranking sixth-best in the world on an indicator of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy and eighth-best on the proportion of children living in homes with at least 10 books (94 per cent).

    Of the 15 indicators for which New Zealand figures are available, it ranks in the top half of the list in only five measures, and in the bottom half in 10.

    More her .
    Mother Bear

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    Dawn's Avatar
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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    I have to admit that this comes as a surprise but I also seem to remember having a debate on here before about the relevance of statistics and how they don't always tell the full story. NZ didn't even have the full board of statistics to contribute for a start.

    When I heard about this report over here in the UK on 14th Feb, indeed there were whole talk shows and radio shows dedicated to the thing, I was not in the least surprised that the UK fared so badly in almost every category. I work with kids at risk every day and the main problem with all of them is that they have no values, worst of all they don't value themselves hence the drug-taking, smoking, drinking, unprotected sex, teenage pregnancy results.

    The UK doesn't value it's young people and hasn't for as long as I can remember. The education system has lost the plot, teachers are so busy trying to meet targets that they don't talk with the kids they talk at them, they're made to sit down and shut up, read and write only what they're prescribed, art, music, drama, dance is pushed out of the curriculum altogether and we end up with either school after school turning out teams of robots or, more often than not, the system failing more kids than it works for.

    The Uk's problems I believe, have an awful lot to do with our individualistic culture. The Thatcher years instilled in us that we should all look after ourselves and sod everyone else. There is no sense of community, there are no communities, everyone is suspicious of everyone else, if you are friendly you're treated like a pervert, kids are demonised and marginalised, any woman who chooses to stay at home to raise her kids is treated like a work-shy moron, families are pushed into putting their kids into childcare and returning to full-time work, being successful constitutes wearing a designer label an up to the minute i-pod and carrying a mega-mega-pixel mobile phone that you don't know how to use.

    My boy is 11. He plays football for a local team on a Saturday morning. He is the only member of the team that doesn't have 6 or 7 pairs of footy boots to choose from, he gets laughed at for this and is considering stopping playing. Our youngest daughter who is only 5 is very bright and her teacher told us just last night that they don't know how to keep her occupied so they let her do what she likes. My boy is also very creative but when he doodles on his jotter whilst his teacher drones out about science he gets a detention, when he contributes in a rarely offered dance session he is reprimanded and sent out for not dancing the way she tells him he can dance, when he runs faster than the others in PE he gets told to not run so fast because it's not fair on the others to lose, he has SAT tests coming up that they say will 'predict his future achievements' so they must have 7 pieces of homework a week to reach the predicted targets. BULLSHIT! I'm in the middle of finding out whether I can pull him out of them altogether!

    From what I have heard about NZ from you guys on here and from other people who are in NZ with their kids, they wouldn't bring them back here for all the tea in China. They all report that their kids are so much happier with the more laid back, less pressurised way of life. I don't know, maybe the peeps that move over there are just the kind of folks that spend more time with their kids anyway, maybe they're the kind of peeps who value family life and who recognise the importance of making their children the centre-piece of their lives and see NZ as offering the freedoms to be able to do that, maybe they're the kind of peeps who are sick and tired of having constraint after constraint put on them and who are fed up of being spoon fed rules and regulations on child-rearing, maybe they just reckon they're the best people to bring up the children that they decided to bring into the world.

    Anyway, this won't stop me coming in the hope that my kids are going to be better off there than they are here. It's one of my priority reasons for even thinking about coming in the first place as I'm sure it is for many of you.

    Phew there, had my say!!
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

  3. #3
    moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    OH DAWN

    YOU HAVE SUMMED EVERYTHING UP SO WONDERFULLY!!!!

    HAVING MOVED HERE LAST AUGUST FROM UK, YOU REALISE HOW TRUE YOUR TEXT IS.  MY CHILDERN LOVE IT HERE, YES THE TEACHERS TALK, LAUGH, JOKE AND PLAY WITH THE KIDS AND IT IS SO REFRESHING WHILST STILL HAVING A LEVEL OF DISCIPLINE TO A HIGH STANDARD.  THEY COME OUT OF SCHOOL ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND THEY ARE RARING TO GO FOR THE WEEKEND INSTEAD OF IN THE UK COMING OUT DOWNTRODDEN, LETHARGIC, AND OVER WORKED WITH/DUE TO NO ENJOYMENT IN THE TEACHING METHODS, OH AND MUST I SAY IT LACK OF RESPECT FROM THE TEACHERS FOR THEIR OWN TINY INDIVIDUALISMS, THEY ENCOURAGE A CHILDS INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER TO DEVELOP MORE HERE.

    WELL DONE DAWN FOR THAT,   GET YOUR PRETTY LITTLE BACKSIDE OVER HERE YOU'LL LOVE IT.

     UK     :018:

                            V

     NZ        


    WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT I HAVE FOUND THE KIDS ARE TAUGHT AND RESPECTED MORE HERE AND THEIR TEACHING METHODS ARE FAR BETTER THAN THE UK. THIS IS OBVIOUSLY MY PERSONAL VIEW.

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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    Anyone who wants to read the whole Unicef report can do so on here:  http://www.unicef.org/media/files/Ch...ertyReport.pdf

    I remember this report coming out last year, and I don't think it has altered much.  The well-being of a country's children is, in my opinion, far complicated than can be generalised in statistics.   One thing I do notice is that whilst it seems more children are likely to be involved in accidents here, the kids in the 'safer' UK are more likely to be unhealthy, to smoke, have underage sex and get drunk regularly.

    From what I have heard about NZ from you guys on here and from other people who are in NZ with their kids, they wouldn't bring them back here for all the tea in China.
    I certainly would not.  My kids themselves have had the opportunity to decide whether to stay here or move back to the UK to be closer to their father and relatives.  They have indicated that they are far far happier here.

    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    :D What a hot debate, wow. I would like to let people know about the Principle at the schooll my daughters will be attending, (when we eventually get there). He signs himself Dave, not Mr suchabody. I asked if he thought it would be a good idea, if my daughter chatted to the children at the school, via email and MSN, before we actually got to Whakatane. Now, think about what one of the teachers or headteachers, at your kids school, would have said to this, if you suggested it to them. I was surprised when he came back and said he thought it would be a brilliant idea. He is going to chat to some of the kids.
    I have also chatted to the school secretary, Vickie, (I know they use first names) she has been brilliant. I have to say everybody has, who I have contacted. What a difference from the UK.
    Back to the debate, that is one of the reasons I am taking my daughter to NZ, children can still be individuals and teachers can still teach.
    Missvee

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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    What the media is missing, and most likely avoiding, is that the report is about children who live in poverty, not the whole population. The NZ statistics are also issued from results published in 2002, which contains data from the 1990's, so it's extremely out dated.

    Dawn is absolutely correct in the differences of the countries. The UK's prevailing 'CHAV' culture is taking over all walks of life, where as here theres nothing like that. The vast majority of people dress to what feels comfortable, and the peer pressure is much lower or non existant in places.

    We're always amazed by how the schools handle children. Every child is treated individually, and in our daughters school there is a great emphasis on individual learning styles.

    No one should have concerns about moving their children here. If the report says many more children are involved in accidents, it's because they are out having fun, climbing trees etc, like kids SHOULD be doing. Not like the UK where all the kids are in front of their playstation, with their cigarettes, cans of tennants super and their new born baby.

    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    Not surprisingly, the US ranks behind NZ in nearly every measure. Considering our immense wealth and resources, we should be the best country in the world for children, but ... well, don't let me get on my soapbox 'cos it won't be pretty. :-X

    One statistic I found a little misleading was the percentage of 15-19 year olds in school. Since the drop out age in most states is 16 and many schools carry kids on the books long after they stop attending it's easy to pad the stats. Since in the US we have more black young men in prison than in school, we don't really have anything to brag about when it comes to educational achievement.

    Okay, rant off. 8-)
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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    We're always amazed by how the schools handle children. ?Every child is treated individually, and in our daughters school there is a great emphasis on individual learning styles.

    No one should have concerns about moving their children here. ?If the report says many more children are involved in accidents, it's because they are out having fun, climbing trees etc, like kids SHOULD be doing. ?Not like the UK where all the kids are in front of their playstation, with their cigarettes, cans of tennants super and their new born baby.
    This is music to my ears Taffy, I can't describe to you the way reading your words made me feel! I have dreamed of this individualistic approach - because I know that without it my kids are gonna struggle and let's face it kids are all individual. They all learn at different paces in different ways and at different times. Did you know that in Denmark, one of the countries at the top of this list by the way, kids don't even start school until they're 6 and then don't start learning to read or write until they are between 7 and 8 at which time they just pick it up and fly. That's because at that age they are ready to learn, trying to cram their tiny minds with too much stuff too early could actually be setting them up to fail and then giving them the means to switch off because they feel stupid, hence a lack of confidence and self-esteem develops.

    And right on man, let the kids do what they should be doing - playing. I am absolutley positive that all of us of a certain age have fallen out of a tree, been hit with a cricket ball, come a cropper when a dodgy go-kart fell apart en route coz the pram wheels fell off it, been rapped on the knuckles with a conker, had bruised, scabby knees and skint palms from going flat out on tarmac when a stone stopped your roller skates dead, had twisted ankles from seeing how high you could jump off a swing or had our faces turned bright red from being held into submission in one of the wrestling positions you watched on World of Sport on a Saturday afternoon.

    So you got it folks, sign up now for the movetonz all in wrestling bout! Team Dawn will be arriving July!

    But seriously, I'm hoping that NZ is just gonna let my children be and as a parent you really can't ask for tmuch more than that.
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

  9. #9
    Welshgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    Well said Dawn :) Had my mum not wrapped me up in cotton wool for so long, I'm sure I would have done ALL of those things (not just some :-[). We were only commenting yesterday that, whilst the pupils at our daughters school are very lucky to have umpteen play areas (complete with climbing frame, banana slide and sand-pits), a swimming pool and tennis courts, for the most part, we did not have such luxuries when we were in school - probably because the schools/government did not want to take the risk of being sued, should an injury occur. When the aforementioned banana slide was installed in the school last year, about 5 or 6 children promptly fell off and broke their arms in the space of a few weeks - and not one Kiwi parent threatened, or even thought about, suing the school: it was part of growing up.

    On the subject of teaching to individual skill levels - I certainly hope this is the case! Our 6 year old daughter is now in Year 3, but some of her classmates are aged 8 & 9!! Don't ask me how or why, even some of the Kiwi parents can't work it out, but I would not expect our daughter to work at the same level as them. In fact, we've been informed that, in this year, they are expected to gain a higher level of independence (e.g. we are not to go in to the class and tidy out their desks for them ::)) so I guess being with a bunch of older kids will help them in this quest! Learning styles and abilities to some extent, in any case, are different no matter what the childs age.

    Anyway, looking forward to meeting (and taking on!) Team Dawn ;)


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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: NZ no children's paradise

    Someone cares enough to bring this up.

    'Silly' time of year to teach students
    1:00PM Sunday February 18, 2007

    Summer and school just do not go together, according to principals.

    With the new term underway, school principals are again raising the question of why schools are operating at the hottest time of year.

    Principals Federation president Judy Hanna says it would make more sense to have a short break at Christmas, and a longer holiday around now.

    She says it is a silly time of year to be trying to teach a classroom full of sweaty pupils.

    Judy Hanna says uniforms are not conducive to the weather and students do not learn very well when they are overheated.

    She says it would be better to start the school year in March.

    From here .
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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