NZ Herald Sep 25, 2009
A proposal for the relaxation of guardianship rules to allow primary-school-aged foreign students to study here without their parents or guardian has been slammed as “exploitation of young children for commercial gain” by education union NZEI Te Riu Roa. “I think most people would find the idea of young children, particularly primary-aged students, being dropped in a different country and culture, and being separated from their parents for weeks at a time, pretty difficult to comprehend,” says president Frances Nelson. The Ministry of Education is behind a drive to review the pastoral care code for international students, and relaxing the rules that required those aged 13 and under to live with a parent or legal guardian while studying here.
…Family lobby group Family First is calling for the Government to reject the proposal, and instead provide the funding to schools. “The welfare of children is playing second fiddle to the financial needs of cash-strapped schools who see foreign students as a cash cow,” said the group’s national director, Bob McCoskrie.