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Kiwis old and new to get fair go at community learning

David Cunliffe
Labour Leader

6 June 2014

Kiwis old and new to get fair go at community learning

A Labour Government will ensure all Kiwis can access Adult and Community Education courses by restoring National’s devastating funding cuts, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“Labour will provide funding of $13 million in the first two years and a further $9 million in the following years for this important area of education. We will also provide $1 million a year for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.

“Labour will work with the Adult and Community Education (ACE) sector to ensure funding is targeted to the areas offering the most value.

“ACE gives Kiwis the chance to make their lives better; be it through literacy and numeracy classes to improve their employment chances, computer training for new career options or ESOL classes to ease their settlement into their new communities.

“A 2008 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that for every government dollar invested in this sector there was at least a $16 return.

“Before the National Government’s 2009 Budget cuts, more than 400,000 Kiwis were enrolled in ACE courses every year.

“National slashed funding to night schools by up to 80 per cent. That led to the number of schools providing these courses falling from 212 to just 23. Now more than 150,000 Kiwis who once attended night school and other school-based learning can’t.

“Petitions calling on the Government to reverse these cuts have been signed by more than 53,000 people nationwide.

“National has ignored them but a Labour Government won’t. We will ensure that all Kiwis, young and old, born here or overseas, get a fair go at improving their lives through further education,” David Cunliffe says.

ENDS

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