Delahunty vs Gloriavale

Two days ago the Herald reported:

Delahunty is concerned that the school’s narrow curriculum, believed to be based on an American fundamentalist Christian course, prevents pupils, especially girls, from going on to tertiary study.

She understood the highest level of secondary learning was NCEA level 1, and there was a strict divide of subjects girls and boys could study to steer them for working inside the compound.

She is questioning how the ERO, which recently gave a pass mark, could rubber-stamp a school that appeared to be in breach of human rights legislation.

In the latest review, ERO found little fault with the school, saying the tuition standard was suitable for teaching its curriculum.

Serious claims.

But Gloriavale has responded:

“The school curriculum does not prevent or discourage any pupils from going on to tertiary study. About 25 per cent of the adult population at Gloriavale has university or national diplomas, and many of our tradesmen have the equivalent of tertiary qualifications.

“Only a handful of people came into the community with tertiary qualifications. All the others have gained their degrees or diplomas after leaving our school or as adult learners.”

Mr Pilgrim said at least 35 per cent of women in Gloriavale held level seven qualifications obtained while they were living in the community, and most of these women had completed their education at the school.

“This compares very favourably with the figures in outside society. No much for the nonsense about our girls not being able to go on to tertiary study.” (sic)

He said the highest level of achievement at the school was not NCEA Level 1 as claimed by Ms Delahunty.

“Last year, all of our year 10-11 students achieved or had already achieved NCEA Level 1, 91 per cent had NCEA Level 2, and 35 per cent had NCEA Level 3.”

So will Delahunty apologise for her false claims?

One can have a strongly unfavourable view of Gloriavale’s leader. But that doesn’t mean you can make false claims that girls are forbidden from getting an education at their school. A Level 7 qualification is equivalent to a university bachelors degree, so 35% is a high rate.

MPs should be responsible with their claims. Delahunty said no one got higher than NCEA Level 1 and in fact 91% got NCEA Level 2. Why did she not check the facts for herself, before making her claims?

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