National gutting community education while paying millions to rich private schools
Fears rise over impact of night-class cuts
The wider ramifications of cutting funding to night classes cannot be determined by quick number crunching, top sociologist Joce Jesson says. And Aucklander Bernadette Papa, whose life was turned around by the classes, is devastated that others will not be able to benefit as she has. Dr Jesson, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of Auckland, has written a paper which claims the original goals of adult and community education cannot be met if education becomes corporatised and highly dependent on grant funding. The real reason for community learning is to build social capital as it forms relationships around communities, she says. "It's about getting people hooked on learning." Dr Jesson is deeply concerned about the knee-jerk reaction of the National Government that announced cuts of $13 million or 80 per cent of funding for night classes. She is worried that by turning all its focus to literacy and numeracy, the Government has turned the purpose of education into obtaining a qualification. "They have forgotten that a really important part of education is citizenship or civic duty. It's what we are lacking already," Dr Jesson said.
It is disgusting that National are gutting 80% of community education while pumping (against Treasury advice) $35 million into the private school industry. Look we all know the last time hard right economic policy was implemented as social policy our suicide rates tripled, without the necessary padding within our communities, the alienation unemployment and a recession can cause will reap a terrible toll and gutting community education in the manner National have will only exacerbate that grim harvest.