Article in the West Australian – State axes country classes

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I came across an article yesterday in our newspaper, The West Australian, the article is titled ‘State Axes Country Classes‘ and I could not believe what I was reading.  So to make myself feel better and to be sure I can say I did my part to try and stop this I have written an email to the WA Education Minster Dr Elizabeth Constable (email: Minister.Constable@dpc.wa.gov.au) and provide a copy below of that email for others to hopefully read and also use to send something similar to the Minister.

My email as sent at 8:12PM  WST, Wednesday 17th March 2010

Hi

I came across an article in the West Australian newspaper in relation to Country Schools and that further District Schools will have years 11 and 12 cut from them.

Ref: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/6939882/state-axes-country-classes/

(PDF attached in case the article goes missing)

I would like to get further information please on what this is all about and why Country schools are being targeted like this.  Being new to a rural area with 3 children we are a little concerned with this article  Our three children attend local schools that already do not provide for year 11 and 12, and while we have made plans to get through that I am alarmed further schools will have years 11 and 12 removed.

Why are country children being requested or expected to attend boarding or other similar options to go to school.  Education is key to the start of any persons life, however what is also very important to compliment that is education and social skills through the family directly at the same time.  Like suburban children, country children should be treated the same and given every opportunity to have the same flexibility of choice to be able to live at home while attending school.  By all means if a family chooses to send children to boarding or similar style schooling that is there choice, however removing access to year 11 and 12 classes further removes that choice totally.

If I can quote from the article

‘Students at 21 schools face extra travel or moving away from home because the State Government is phasing out their senior school courses.’

What schools are these?  Has the wider community been advised and consulted?  Why are you forcing people to send their children away from their families when during the years of 11 and 12 that family support is essential.  We all know how much pressure and how stressful years 11 and 12 can be, why are you making it even harder?

‘Education Minister Liz Constable said only district high schools with very low numbers would be affected.’

Again what schools are they, have they been consulted, has the community been consulted, what other options have been looked at?

‘She said students could travel to a bigger school, board at a hostel in another town or study through distance education.’

So your basically saying to people in the country ‘you live in the country so too bad suck it up and move away from your family to attend school’.  Well how else do we take it?

‘Dr Constable told the ABC this morning that the move would provide more opportunity for students.

“It’s not motivated by cost, in fact it doesn’t save very much money at all,” she said.’

If it is not motivated by cost then why do it?  Why disadvantage country children further?  Please I’d like to know the reasons and valid ones at that?  Is there no space available, no teachers available no what?  If they are running now why not continue them if this is NOT a cost issue?

‘Shadow education minister Michelle Roberts said country students would be further disadvantaged.’

And I have to agree with her, which is against my own original thinking (agreeing with Michelle Roberts about anything), but Michelle Roberts is exactly correct in her comment and I find this so bad this single issue will be why I vote against you this next election, even though I have been a liberal supporter for my voting life.  Needless to say I will be publicising this as far as I can get to get others to do the same

Michelle Roberts continues to say ‘She said the former Labor Government had considered the same option but decided against it because it did not want to penalise country families.’

Exactly again, Michelle has won my vote already unless of course you rethink this through.

While I appreciate this may or may not affect my children directly (I don;t know what schools this covers) it does not have to, this affects country children wherever they are and this will only lead to other schools being put into the same position in the future.

I hope you reconsider this proposal and retract your position on this and bring equality to all children no matter where they might live.  Remember it is the children in the country through education and family support that provide for the families in the suburbs.

Kindest Regards

Greg

END Email

When (or if) I get a response I will post back here with that response and hopefully have a positive outcome.

EDIT UPDATE: I got a response, took a while but at least the email was honoured and a reply given.  Basically it covered the fact that the district schools having years 11 and 12 removed are those with little to no students already and are those schools that had (apparently) already been arranged/planned to have years 11 and 12 removed.  It was the usual waffle you can expect from a politician, but to be honest I could not be bothered trying to further debate the subject matter.  I said my piece, I raised my concerns and that is about as much as I can really do.  We will see what transpires with this in the future, if any news of it comes out I will read and review it 🙂

Share

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply