Night classes

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - BEV­ER­LEY ROSER Bal­moral

Last month, along with sev­eral hun­dred oth­ers, I at­tended the meet­ing at West­ern Springs Col­lege to protest the gov­ern­ment fund­ing cuts to night school ed­u­ca­tion.

The 100-year tra­di­tion of night school ed­u­ca­tion in New Zealand is unique and ev­ery pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment has recog­nised the so­cial, eco­nomic and ed­u­ca­tional worth of the pro­gramme.

So what has brought about this dra­matic action that threat­ens to put a stop to the pro­gramme by the cur­rent Na­tional-led gov­ern­ment?

Ap­par­ently not the re­port from Price­wa­ter­house Coop­ers (June 2008) which cal­cu­lated a re­turn of be­tween $54 to $72 for ev­ery fund­ing dol­lar spent, a gross eco­nomic ben­e­fit of be­tween $4.9 and $6.4 bil­lion from it.

It is un­ac­cept­able that no Na­tional MPs fronted the meet­ing to hear first hand from a large num­ber of stu­dents and tu­tors in­volved in the pro­gramme.

Their sto­ries were not sen­ti­men­tal; they were hard hit­ting re­al­ity. Ac­ces­si­ble, af­ford­able, qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion is what night class ed­u­ca­tion

pro­vides. It must con­tinue.

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