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Byron Shire
May 19, 2021

Shopfront TAFE to replace real teaching?

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Greens Dawn Walker MLC joined the 50 strong rally on Tuesday July 18 in Murwillimbah seeking assurance that the TAFE campus would not be closed. Photo supplied.
Greens Dawn Walker MLC joined the 50 strong rally on Tuesday July 18 in Murwillimbah seeking assurance that the TAFE campus would not be closed. Photo supplied.

Closing TAFE campuses, selling off the land and replacing them with shopfront support centres is the Liberal-National state government backdoor way of cutting services to rural and young people according to Dawn Walker, NSW Greens TAFE spokesperson.

‘The National Party and outgoing Lismore MP, Thomas George, have been working hard to spruke their new ‘digital TAFE hubs’ known as Connected Learning Centres, but closing TAFE campuses is their real agenda,’ she said at yesterdays 50 strong rally outside Murwillumbah TAFE.

Ms Walker was joined by the general community and Teachers Federation representatives to highlight the current agenda of the state governments policy to close TAFE campuses and replace the with poorly resourced support centres.

‘I’ve already visited the first TAFE shopfront in Dapto, near Wollongong where a once-thriving TAFE campus with 650 students has been replaced with a pop-up shopfront with no library, no toilets and minimal support for students. It’s embarrassing quite frankly, and regional communities should be very alarmed about this Government’s ongoing attempts to undermine our public TAFE system.’

Rebecca Mitchell, who completed a tertiary preparation certificate in 2016 at Murwillumbah TAFE before studying law at Southern Cross University, said that it was the face to face teaching that got her through.

‘I’m dyslexic and without the support staff and teachers here I would never have done it. It’s the staff here at Murwillumbah that did it, by offering support, by telling me I could do it, by giving guidance and staying back when they didn’t have to,’ she said.

Highlighting that the town is growing and the high levels of youth unemployment Ms Walker said that ‘cutting teaching staff and replacing face-to-face learning with online modules in shopfronts. This will have a devastating impact on learning outcomes for many students, especially those requiring extra support services.

‘The National Party need to come clean with our community and promise not to close Murwillumbah TAFE campus when they install a shopfront.’


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Australia needs apprentices fully trained to become trades people
    Without a standard training by the government trades people will be limited to what their companies are prepared to teach.
    The Education of all Australians is extremely important for Australia’s future

  2. All the major Party pollies pay great lip service to TAFE but that is as far as it goes. On TAFE support staff in Sudney (Ultimo campus) I witnessed the start of the war of attrition on TAFE in 1987, and it hasn’t stopped yet. While Governments continue to treat Public Education as a cost, not an investment, this trend will continue until TAFE has been supplanted by PFP providers offering meaningless “MIckey Mouse” courses for the profits of catchpenny opportunists.

    Theonly solution is to reconstitute ANTA (Australian National Training Authority) with additional powers of inspection of facilities, audit of course contents and a companion grading system. Government subsidies and grants should also be outcome, not enrolment, dependent and outcomes should in turn be dependent on relevant employment of graduates. That last one should eliminate a lot of shonks!

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