Saturday, May 30, 2009

boys behind girls - absent fathers - time to front up

Disturbing news about the education lag for many boys.

"New Zealand boys are further behind girls in the classroom than in any other developed country, and the head of a Christchurch boys' school blames marital splits. (My emphasis)

The 30-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday released a report comparing achievement by 15-year-old boys and girls in 40 countries.

Of the OECD countries in the study, the difference in reading achievement in favour of girls was greatest in New Zealand, the report showed.

"There are significant gender differences in educational outcomes, and these appear as students grow older.""

I've discussed this in a post here.

""It's an issue that boys' schools have an opportunity to address," St Bede's College rector Justin Boyle said."

Boys seemed to have particular difficulty with writing, and the school had introduced a programme to improve writing skills, he said.

"I believe also there are other social issues; who are the male role models who are influencing these boys?" Boyle said.

"Invariably, we find if mum and dad have split they have not had the male role model in their lives to encourage them in a holistic way about how they get educated"" (my emphasis)


"Boys are affected by divorce very deeply because 85 per cent of custody goes to the mother and guys just disappear. That needs to change," he said.

"We need to have a family split-up philosophy where we realise that sons need their fathers. All custody and access should be 50-50."

That is my view too. We need to help men be good fathers to their boys and we need to start helping them today.

And we really need to consider the consequences of not helping these men be good fathers. We are already seeing this:

"An attack in which three men blew a sheep's jaw off with fireworks and attempted to set it on fire had to be one of the worst animal cruelty cases, the Tauranga SPCA says."

These guys, Blake John Kerridge, Mitchell Anthony Herbert and Matthew Ludolph all aged 17 from Auckland have been let off because the police could not prove exactly how the sheep was killed.

and this:

"Hamilton's coroner says a man who died with two of his children in a head-on smash had set out to commit homicide.

He had threatened to kill himself behind the wheel and when he did die, so did two of his three children."

In evidence, the man's estranged wife told the court her husband had found their separation difficult and repeatedly threatened to kill himself.

Her husband was allegedly unhappy with the thought of her finding someone else or their children having a stepfather."

We have to start today or these headlines with boys and fathers going mental will increase. Start with your whanau, start with your own personal healing.

No comments: