The Impact of Marketisation on Pacific Islands Secondary School Students: A Christchurch Experience
Thesis DisciplinePacific Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This research examines the impact of marketisation on Pacific Islands students in Christchurch high schools. Specifically, this study targeted the Tomorrow's Schools policy released in 1990 with particular interest in the changes in zoning laws. These changes theoretically allowed the consumers of education (the parents and students) equal access to all secondary schools by breaking down the zones and creating a free market where 'choice' and competition reigned supreme. However, this study along with others found that in actual fact it was the 'popular' schools with enrolment schemes who had the power to choose what students they preferred. Schools were left to compete for those students deemed' undesirable' by popular schools. This study found that a dis-empowerment of the schools' enrolment schemes needs to occur in Christchurch. Obviously, on the other hand, an empowerment of Pacific Islands parents and students through the increase of information also needs to occur. Although the government has made small steps toward making the problem more visible, more definitive work needs to be done in this area. This study also examined the achievement of Pacific Islands students at a national and at a sample level and discovered that has been very little improvement in this area over the time the Tomorrow's Schools policy has been in operation. Therefore, this study ventures into an analysis of this problem and suggests possible remedies. Again, this study argues that students must be actively empowered by teachers, schools, the government, and by their own people, in order to break down the physical, mental and even spiritual battles that Pacific Islands students face in the New Zealand education system.