27 January 2006
TEC model forces night class closures
The move to a contestable and bulk-funded model is responsible for the closure of night courses at Tamaki and Glendowie colleges, and this may be just the beginning, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.
She said that at least six colleges had now withdrawn from adult and community education as a result of the Government’s ill-advised sortie into community education.
“The fact is that night classes in secondary schools have been a critical and effective part of the adult education scene for years and this is all being put at risk by the new funding regime being imposed by TEC (Tertiary Education Commission)>”
Under the new model, schools will have to compete for money and funding will be allocated according to government priorities, with literacy courses taking precedence.
“Schools will have to contend with a lot of bureaucracy and compliance to meet requirements, and there are no guarantees that they’ll get funding.
“PPTA believes these changes need rethinking. Schools have successfully delivered courses that their communities have wanted and the communities have valued the way night classes have evolved to meet their needs, especially in rural areas where the school is the hub of the community.
“It will be a big loss for communities if schools decide to withdraw their facilities.”
Te Whaiti said the loss of Glendowie and Tamaki night classes leaves only one provider serving an east Auckland population of nearly 150,000. “Moreover this leaves communities least able to afford it bearing the cost of travel to other areas.
“How far will those people have to go to get their life-long learning that the Government so regularly waxes lyrical about?”