Adele’s Story, Kids Falling Light Years Behind

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from places around the net.

Today’s tale was left on this blog by Adele,  she tells us how difficult it can be to leave New Zealand after one’s children have been failed by its educational system. Falling light years behind is how many migrants describe it.

Mmmm what can I say… well here’s my story. Arrived in NZ in 2007 with the biggest pair of rose tinted spectacles you have ever seen. Yes, I had done research, I just wish I’d fallen on this blog before I came. Would I still have come? Probably. Been here nearly 5 years now and I am so ‘over it’ it’s untrue!! I have never felt so isolated, alone, bereft the list goes on…

I moved out here with a fourteen year old boy, and two girls four and nine. My son was excelling at school in England, ‘destined for university’ were amongst some of the comments made by his year head in his leaving letter. Three years after being in one of the most shocking schools in the county he left with sweet FA!! They don’t have an education system here unless you are earning copious amounts of money and can send them to ‘private school’. We are currently paying for extra maths and english lessons for my daughter just to give her ‘half a chance’ at NCEA.

It’s like treading mud…. one step forward and five thousand back. If your kids aren’t into sport then theres little else to keep them occupied. Don’t get me wrong I’m not anti-sport and my two daughters play lots but they need more as teenagers. Its just not here. What they tend to do is go looking down the wrong path… I’m by no means a snob but getting dressed up to stand round an oil drum in someones garden, getting pissed on a grotty flea ridden sofa is not my idea of a night out.

Friendships… ha ha ha what a joke.. they don’t do friendships. In all my years as a parent and a teenager growing up in the UK I have never come across such disloyal, backstabbing, emotionally retarded people in all my life. Unless you’re the type that change your accent on touchdown and spend your days licking arse then forget friendships.. they don’t do them!

Expensive… what an understatement. You just get ripped off for everything. Food, dental, clothes, as soon as they hear your accent a plumber or electrician etc are in seventh heaven.. Lets rip the balls outta these guys!! Curtains.. please, you need to remortgage the house for a set. Paint!! don’t even go there, get the sugar soap out and get the walls washed.

‘What a negative person” I hear you say.. “why don’t you move back then”. If only.. it’s not as simple as it sounds. My nineteen year old son has started an apprenticeship and If I went back now he wouldn’t come with us. My daughter would be thrown into her GCSE year and has never had a geography, history, chemistry, physics or language lesson in other words she is ‘light years’ behind and I feel it would be cruel. Its called being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On the plus side (because I’m not such a negative person really) it has nice scenery!!’

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5 thoughts on “Adele’s Story, Kids Falling Light Years Behind

  1. We were stuck in New Zealand for some years, and when we finally were able to leave, I found the schools in New Zealand were roughly 2 years behind, academically, compared to my own country and most other Western nations. They were permitted to use calculators for basic operations they should have understood the mechanics of by being forced to do them with a pencil. Boys and girls did not mingle that much socially, and had a certain mutual hostility. There was a basic lack of civility, and bullying was both overt and “under the table”. If you want your children learning to be stupid, sneaky and groundlessly nationalistic, send them to school in New Zealand.

  2. We came to NZ with 3 teenage daughters. While we were happy enough here, it was a total disaster for the kids. They were enrolled into a school that was highly spoken of. My 14 year old was moved up into a class of 16 year olds because she had already done the work and my 17 year old wasted her last year at school in NZ, bored out of her mind as she too had done the work a couple of years back. Luckily my eldest had left school but all 3 hated it in NZ. They were bullied, isolated, threatened and traumatised. They all left NZ as soon as they could, having made no friends and having lost any shred of self confidence and enthusiasm they may have arrived with. We as parents were absolutely stunned at how cruel the kids were. They had no compassion, loyalty and no kindness in them. I would hate my grandchildren to grow up here and there is no truth in the saying that NZ is a great place to bring up kids even though its been good for us older ones.

  3. Found the same, had children in the New Zealand schools and moved them back home to find they had lost so much ground. The longer they are in the schools, the more light years they fall behind. It’s not just academically. It’s socially as well. Everything Adele said I found was true. Please take this post very seriously if you have children. It is not just the standards – it is the partying and bad interpersonal relations. Children learn to use one another and drag one another down. They don’t learn anything positive. There is no discipline and conscientiousness is viewed as something unnecessary and even causing them problems because they are not that way. The schools are warehouses Their only purpose is to teach children to think that New Zealand is the best country in the world and keep them out of the parents’ business so the parents can scrounge pennies to pay for the exorbitant housing.

  4. This is very true and I put it down to the lack of discipline in the schools. Everyone is so bloody PC that it is ok for a kid to smoke weed and come to class stoned, but the teacher and the police CAN’T check the kid’s bag for drugs without a search warrant. They can’t look for weapons in bags either. And if someone does suggest that a little discipline would be a good thing, then you are treated as if you are a fascist.

    Kids have to compete internationally when they finish their education, but with what passes for education here, is a joke and huge numbers of kids leave school functionally illiterate because no one could force them to learn to read and write and do maths. These kids will end up working for Asian migrants who are disciplined and who can read, write and do maths.

    I’ve said it before and will say it again: If the school system is not internationally competitive, and it isn’t at all, then NEW ZEALAND IS A CRAP PLACE TO BRING UP KIDS!!!

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