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Upper Hutt Leader : October 26th 2011
21 UPPER HUTT LEADER, OCTOBER 26, 2011 EDUCATION 3716177AL Need Maths, Reading, Spelling or English help now? www.kipmcgrath.co.nz www.cellfield.com 528 7707 Does your child or teenager have reading, comprehension or spelling difficulties? Find out how Cellfield can help. For information about a research based, peer reviewed and proven intervention, visit www.cellfield.com Or Call Patrick on 528 7707 to find out if Cellfield can help your child. 0800 844-888 www.wnc.co.nz Wellington Nannies College • 22 week courses • next starts 30 January 2012 • no course fee • NZQA Nat. Cert. • Live-in or live-out option, board provided if needed. Love kids? Would you like to be a nanny? Phone now for a FREE DVD about our course Wellington Nannies College provides a hands-on, entry-level early childhood education course which equips learners with the knowledge, skills and experience needed to obtain a job as a nanny in New Zealand or overseas. 4090450AA Schoolyard battleground Night classes end: Maryke Fordyce, left, hands a petition to Labour leader Phil Goff and education spokeswoman Maryann Street calling for adult community education cuts to be reversed. Photo: JIM CHIPP By JIM CHIPP The education portfolios have generated the most aggravation for the John Key s National government in its first term. Incoming Education Minister Anne Tolley s plans for national milestone standards of attainment in literacy and numeracy for all school pupils faced intense criticism from educators, and have yet to be universally accepted. Ms Tolley slashed the budget for adult community education, and it has vanished from most of the country. The total education budget has risen this year from $12 billion to $12.16b, with the increase going to early childhood education, but universities and polytechnics face funding cuts. The government has got tough with reluctant student loan debtors overseas, employing private debt collectors to chase payments. Student loans With half a million New Zealanders owing a total of more than $11 billion the government moved to tighten eligibility and improve repayment rates. Labour had removed the interest from the loans while students were still study- ing, and prior to the 2008 election National reluctantly undertook to con- tinue the policy. However, earlier this year Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce announced that people who had overdue payments and were over 55-year-olds would no longer be eligible. Last month the Inland Revenue Department began a four month trial employing private debt collectors to chase payment from Australian-resident student loan defaulters. Funding for tertiary institutions has also been tied to performance, based on course-completion rates, qualification- completion and student progression to other courses. Polytech boards have also been cut to four local appointees, and four minis- terial appointees. Night class wars Ms Tolley attracted widespread rage when she slashed funding for adult com- munity education from $16 million a year to just $3 million. Ms Tolley said at the time the cut was necessary because the outgoing Labour government had left polytechs and universities with $500 million in unfunded commitments to building programmes, which had to be found somewhere. It was a hard decision but a necessary decision and one that had to be made, she said at the time. There were widespread protests on the street and a petition against the cuts, all to no avail. Ms Tolley left the last $3 million to continue to provide English tuition to refugees, sign language and other essen- tial classes, but most schools were unable to stay open for after-hours classes on the restricted funding. Adult community education has vanished from most South Island schools, as well as the Hutt Valley and Porirua. It survives at Wellington High School, and Onslow, Newlands and Tawa colleges. Robyn Hambleton was acting director of adult community education at Welling- ton High School at the time. She said the school has maintained its numbers of adult students but believes it is because many students are travelling from outside Wellington to the school. North of Tawa, the next school to offer adult classes is in Hamilton, she said. Nationwide, it has gone down to about 25 government-funded programmes from about 212 two years ago, she said. To have full cost recovery in the least well off communities is just not do-able. The school still receives limited funding to provide sign language, Eng- lish as second language and Te Reo train- ing she said. Other courses fees are set on a full cost-recovery basis and she has heard some people are unable to afford them. Work and Income has also stopped referring clients for courses that could help their employment prospects, she said.
October 19th 2011
November 2nd 2011