Topics: Elections, Education, Politics

School initiative encourages parents to vote

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

Political education has become part of Flanshaw Road School's curriculum, with NZEI-led initiative 'Bring An Adult' encouraging parents to get out and vote on Election Day.

These Year 5 and 6 students have been given the tools to develop a political opinion.

Year 6 student Catherine Poor says, "I think it's very important that my parents have a say in who becomes a part of the government."

Year 5 student Holly Hickman says, "If you don't vote then the person you will want is just going to not make it in cause it could just be your vote that makes it not count."

Year 6 student Rico Graham says, "When I'm older I'm going to be voting and I think that everyone should vote too cause it's going to be a great change if we do vote."

Teacher Mandy Martin says political education should be a normal part of the curriculum and students should be encouraged to talk politics with their parents.

"When I was at school we didn't talk a lot about politics or the prime minister or anything like that so it's helped teachers learn more about the political parties and be able to teach the kids."

More than a quarter of those enrolled in the Te Atatū electorate didn't vote in the 2014 elections. NZEI member and teacher Greg Patel says it's been a similar trend for the past three Elections.

"It's not about getting people to vote for anybody or against anything, it's just about getting all of our community out to the polling booths encouraging the parents to make the most of their rights."

It is hoped that the Bring An Adult initiative will bring voter participation up with five other schools in the electorate also participating.