Zone proposal 'reeks of snobbery'

ROSE CAWLEY
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014
Carmela Hughes and Ardit Hoxha
Rose Cawley
CHANGING FUTURES: Carmela Hughes and Ardit Hoxha have started a Facebook campaign to encourage people to oppose the exclusion of Glen Innes and Point England from the proposed Selwyn College enrolment zone.

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Former Selwyn College students Carmela Hughes and Ardit Hoxha say the school once taught them about acceptance.

So they're appalled by its decision to exclude Pt England and Glen Innes from its enrolment zone.

The Ministry of Education advised Selwyn College to set up an enrolment scheme because of a growing roll.

But the proposed zone excludes both suburbs and critics say the plan reeks of snobbery.

Hughes and Hoxha say they both would have needed to apply "for the privilege" to attend the college if the proposal had been policy in their day.

They fear the very fabric of Selwyn College will be changed if students from the lower socio-economic suburbs are excluded.

"So much of what Selwyn is about is its diversity," Hoxha, 20, says. "That was just as educational for me as the teachers, I was learning from my peers.

"I was given the opportunity for social interactions with people I may have otherwise never met."

The Auckland University student says he is disgusted by the proposed zone change.

"It is segregating the community on a basis of economics," he says.

"They've swapped Glen Innes and Pt England in exchange for more affluent suburbs.

"We would hang our heads in shame if this zone was put in place as it is."

Hughes says students from Glen Innes and Pt England have contributed to Selwyn's turnaround.

Now those communities will face very limited educational choices, she says.

"It means these kids will only have one option of schooling. Glendowie excluded them and now Selwyn wants to exclude them."

Hughes noticed a lot of social media comments on the subject and decided to create a Facebook page to encourage people to make a submission.

"There are a lot of people confused about the details and upset about the zone," she says.

"We needed a common platform for people to express their concerns and share information on submitting."

She says the response has been positive with more than 250 likes.

Go to selwyn.school.nz for more information. Submissions can be made before 5pm on August 4.

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- East And Bays Courier

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