Inequalities in education, child poverty in New Zealand
Catherine Hawes, 2013000093
Assignment two: Letter
Education and Society BTECE 5:02
Due 19th April 2013
19th April 2013
Ms Student Teacher
Eastern Institute of Technology
Private Bag 1201
Hawkes Bay Mail Centre
Dear Ms Student Teacher
I’m writing to let you know what I’ve been learned about child poverty at EIT this term. Did you know that, in New Zealand child poverty could be compared to a socially transmitted disease and for many children and young people this is the harsh reality of their life! Children and young people form a distinctive group that are present in all social and economic classes and come from many cultural backgrounds. New Zealand aims to be a country that values children and yet the gap between the very wealthy and the extremely poor grows wider every day and the chance to wipe out poverty has become too hard and gets swept under the rug every day and our government creates policies designed to pacify society’s conscience. Recently I read a very interesting book called Children of the Poor by Mike Moore, which gave the child’s perspective about what poverty means to them on a daily basis. I found this to be an accurate description of how many of them probably feel and it makes me sad, helpless and wondering what I can do as a student teacher. Have a read and write back about what you think. Lesley Max (p.17-18) cited Doctor Zoe During, a former senior medical officer of health in south Auckland, explains that for children poverty means ‘ being dirty, smelly, with recurrent skin infections, untreated impetigo, scabies and lice, with chronically discharging ears, runny noses, bronchitis and attacks of gastroenteritis. It means no toys and often being left home alone. Bedtime is when you fall asleep watching television. Meals are disorganised and inadequate. There is no toothpaste or toothbrush, one dirty towel to share, unclean toilet and...
References: Adams, P., Openshaw, R., & Hamer, J. (2005). Education and society in Aotearoa New
Zealand. (2nd ed.). Albany, New Zealand: Nelson Cengage Learning.
Egan-Bitran, M. (2010). This is how I see it: Children, young people and young adult’s views
and expressions of poverty. Children’s Commissioner. Retrieved from
Freeth, A. (2013, March 6). The sad business of child poverty. The New Zealand Herald.
Moore, M. (1996). Children of the poor: How poverty could destroy New Zealand’s future.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press.
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