New Zealand’s ‘Quality’ Education – McDonalds Trips For 5 Year Olds

A trip to McDonalds is considered to be an valid educational opportunity for 5-7 year old Wilford school children in the Wellington suburb of Petone.

Whilst there is merit in examining the process involved in food production and discussing the effects of an unhealthy diet, the raison d’être for this excursion fails miserably as soon as the kids get to eat free burgers at the end of their trip. Is it any wonder that New Zealand has the third highest rate of obesity in the OECD?

Is this such a surprise? New Zealand has the world’s highest number of McDonald restaurants per $GDP and the second highest number of McDonalds restaurants per capita. It’s now an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s culture.

Given the lack of opportunities in the country many of these kids will most likely end up flipping burgers for a living.

Would kids from a more affluent suburb of Wellington have been offered a different experience?

A trip to Subway, a sandwich makers or even a sushi bar perhaps?

The parents must be grateful that they don’t live near a brewery. But least they won’t have to provide lunch on Maccas Days.

Additonal reading

Charter schools plan slammed    (6/12/2011)

Children could be counting french fries in commercialised maths problems under a charter school proposal, the PPTA says

…The charter school scheme will be trialled in South Auckland and Christchurch within the next three years.

Groups representing teachers and principals are outraged at the proposal.

Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) president Robin Duff labelled the charter school trial nothing but a “social experiment” on already vulnerable students.

“Why are they not putting a school like this in Epsom? I think some honest answers are needed.”

He said models overseas were ineffective; Stanford University research showed students at only 17 per cent of charter schools did better than at traditional schools… more here

More you should know

Wilford School is decile 6 primary school with 315 pupils. It draws its student cohort from Petone, Alicetown and the wider Hutt Valley. In 2010 the main ethnic groups were 42% NZ European, 38% Maori, 9% Pasifika, 6% Asian and 5% other.

Blog “Would You Like A Future With That? The Burgerization of McZealand” written in June 2009:

In 2009 the government’s solution to rising youth unemployment was to strike a deal between WINZ and McDonalds to employ 7,000 youngsters. What happened to the bright and prosperous future for all that was promised by John Key before he was elected? Sources:

  • Stuff.co.nz “Thousands of beneficiaries could soon be flipping burgers under a deal between Work and Income and McDonald’s.“
  • NZ Herald “Education Minister Anne Tolley says there is no more money to fund extra places in polytechnics during the recession. Between 6000 and 8000 students would be turned away because of the Government cap on places in the following year.” (ed. but there’s 7000 jobs going at McDonalds’)
  • Jobless people looking to upskill through polytechnics could be turned away if the Government does not lift the enrolment cap.”

66% of students entering high school aren’t numerate one of the facts from our Education and Childrens Issues Facts and Stats page.

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3 thoughts on “New Zealand’s ‘Quality’ Education – McDonalds Trips For 5 Year Olds

  1. New Zealand has one of the developed world’s worst diabetes problems. All the sugar they put in things. Everything. You can’t get away from it. I bought some Pam’s seaweed crackers the other day. They had sugar in them! Disgusting. Snacks and other savouries? Sugared. The Mexicxan salsa? Sugared! It is no wonder they have diabetes.

    But blame other countries for putting sugar in their Pam’s brand foods and making Kiwis eat it. Not Pure NZ! NZ is blameless!

  2. With the amount of complaining you hear about Yanks and their McDonald’s taking over the world, it’s surprising to see how many McD’s patron stickers they have on their windshields. ;P

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