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165,000 fewer people enrolled in adult education

165,000 fewer people enrolled in adult education

Adult Community Education is withering away with 165,000 fewer people enrolled in ACE courses at schools and community groups than in 2009, Labour Tertiary Education spokesperson David Shearer says.

"The National Government's funding cuts have decimated Adult Community Education with the number of school providers dropping from 212 to just 23 since funding cuts came into force," David Shearer said.

"Some regions now have no access to Adult Community Education and in areas such as Northland, where unemployment is the highest in the country, there is just one school provider.

"We should be encouraging people to take up training not making it harder for them," David Sharer said. "Night school has been an important option for those looking to up-skill and is a much-loved part of New Zealand culture.

"Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce claims adult education was about indulging people's hobbies, he could not have been more wrong.

"Since National cut funding for Adult Community Education courses in sign language, maritime safety and Mandarin, a subject the Prime Minister himself has encouraged New Zealanders to take up, have all been cut.

"Adult education has enormous benefits for a small cost, but thanks to National fewer and fewer people and communities are able to benefit from it," David Shearer said.

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