‘Vigilance’ is needed on TAFE plans

A proposed connected learning centre for Corowa “is not what TAFE is about”, according to Dawn Walker. The Greens NSW TAFE spokeswoman was in Albury on Monday to meet residents and teachers, with state government funding front and centre of the agenda.

“There’s been a massive cut of $105 million out of TAFE’s budget; TAFE NSW cannot afford that sort of cut – they’re already on their knees in terms of funding,” said Dawn Walker.

“I’m also concerned about the connected learning centre model they’re proposing to roll-out across NSW.

“I am very concerned about what’s happening at Corowa and I think the community needs to be vigilant.”

In December, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced plans for CLCs in 12 locations including Corowa and Deniliquin.

Ms Walker said the community of Corowa needed to be “vigilant” in keeping on top of the incentive.

“Having looked at one of the first in Dapto, I’m very concerned about what it will mean for student learning and teaching staff,” she said.

“What I’ve seen in Dapto is a vibrant TAFE college being turned into a shopfront with no toilet facilities, no library, and when I was there no students.

“This sort of idea that ones size fits all, that we can have CLCs where learners are sitting at cubicles with computers, isn’t what TAFE is about and it’s not what the community expects it to be.”

Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn echoed Ms Walker’s concerns.

“I don’t understand how you can possibly teach someone hands-on, practical skills with a computer terminal,” she said.

“I think a lot of the issues Dawn’s described are more obvious here because we’re on the border – it’s obvious to me the Victorian government is looking after TAFE better than NSW has.

“Local residents have been speaking to me about TAFE back when I was a federal election candidate, they’ve approached me about TAFE as a local councillor.”

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