According to the IHC, a report released today showing that a quarter of all preschoolers have developmental difficulties shows that the broken education system needs to be fixed today.
It was reported today that the study of more than 6,000 children aged 4 to 5 measured four areas of development; physical health, motor skills, emotional and behavioral development, and communication and learning. The study was conducted by a pediatrician and a developmental consultant pediatrician at Starship Hospital.
Since 2008, IHC has been campaigning for the government to fix an education system that is not working for everyone.
IHC Inclusive Education Consultant Trish Grant says resource and funding systems are not working for children or for schools.
“Students with disabilities aren’t getting the funding and support they need to be successful in their education like their peers,” she says. “We want a system that provides the right support for children to attend, learn and participate in all aspects of school life – swimming sports, camp and math instead of being left to color or sent home.
“Many of the children identified in this study do not have intellectual disabilities but start school well behind the start line. to start next year.”
The study shows that poverty is a main indicator of poor development and that children with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty. 20% of children with disabilities live in poverty compared to 10% of children without disabilities.
IHC recently conducted its own education survey and found that 99% of family members who support a child with a disability say the system is not working. This rises to 100% among education and health professionals surveyed.
“We started a campaign and legal action to fix the failing education system in 2008,” says Trish. New entrants that year have now graduated and 14 years later new entrants are still heading towards a system that won’t work for them.
“We called on the Department of Education to collect this data itself as a starting point to build a system that works for all learners – but still nothing.
“It’s time for all children to be counted and mattered in New Zealand with an education system that will give them a good start in life.”
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