Education is essential to a democratic society. Currently, higher education is treated as a "user pays" commodity, burdening most of our tertiary students with debt before they even enter the workforce. This attitude is even creeping into the secondary level, as education funding is less than adequate for the modern world and schools rely more and more on ‘donations’ to fund core programmes. In a reformed monetary system education will be recognised for what it truly is: a vital investment in the future.
Social Credit will achieve this by:
• Instituting one publicly-funded, nationwide system of education, from preschool to adults
• Consultation with parents and communities to decide the structure and administration of the education system
• Making all levels of education readily available without fees as of right to all persons legally resident in New Zealand
• Scrapping the student loans scheme. Tertiary education will be free provided adequate results are being achieved
• Ensuring distance education is available to those unable to attend schools in their area
• Recognising registered preschools, including parent co-operatives, and schools offering cultural diversity such as Te Kohanga Reo, or alternate methods such as Montessori
• Putting in place an apprenticeship system that is flexible and responsive to the needs of apprentices and employers
• Implementing parent education initiatives
• Having a graded registration scheme for all education workers, including experience, qualifications and competence
• Increasing research resources for schools and universities
• Funding ‘blue sky’ research across all disciplines, not just for commercial applications
Using a range of economic tools (refer 'Toolkit for a new economy'), the education system will be fully funded from preschool through to post-graduate level.
Graduates will not start their working lives already deep in debt, and families will not be faced with extra costs in order to access education for their children.
Education will be funded in a range of ways. Infrastructure, including new buildings, extensions, repair and maintenance may be funded by interest-free loans to local bodies.
Operational funding will be through both taxation and debt-free money, as determined by the Reserve Bank from year to year.