National's second language guarantee based on one hour of learning a week

National's guaranteed second language for all primary school children would provide one hour of teaching a week, the party has revealed.

National has faced sticky questions following its major education policy announcement at its campaign launch on Sunday. Prime Minister Bill English was initially unable to answer questions on when the policy would be rolled out, and questions have since been raised over who would teach the 10 proposed languages.

After further questions from Newshub on Monday, the party's admitted their projected policy costings are based on just one hour of learning each week over 30 weeks of the school year.

Labour says it looks like policy made up on the fly.

"I'm surprised they don't seem able to answer some pretty basic questions about it, like whether it will be delivered by qualified teachers, whether all schools will have to do it and how they will determine which languages are offered at which schools," Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins said.

In a statement to Newshub, National's education spokesperson Nikki Kaye said the projected cost of teaching was based on some schools having dedicated language teachers, some teachers working across multiple schools and some teaching, particularly in rural areas, provided through Communities of Online Learning.

The policy is "a huge investment in our future. Providing learning in a second language from the age of five means hundreds of thousands of children will have significantly enhanced cognitive skills and knowledge of a second language by the time they are eight years old," Ms Kaye said.

Newshub.

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