Ed­u­ca­tion is a vi­tal ser­vice, not a busi­ness

Countryman - - OPINION | HAVE YOUR SAY - Robyn Wat­son, Moora

I am greatly con­cerned about the State Gov­ern­ment’s planned clo­sure of Moora Res­i­den­tial Col­lege.

There have been huge ad­vance­ments in the lo­cal peo­ple’s ed­u­ca­tion in the past 20 years.

By clos­ing this school, a clear mes­sage is be­ing sent to our young peo­ple — they do not mat­ter. That is the last thing we need at this stage.

It is only com­mon sense to re­alise that if we lose this fa­cil­ity we lose stu­dents and the school loses teach­ers, Abo­rig­i­nal aides and con­nected ser­vices.

The next 10 years will see a re­ver­sal of the good that has oc­curred.

Ed­u­ca­tion is not a busi­ness. It is a ser­vice we all pay taxes to­wards and, be­cause we live in the coun­try, we ac­cept hav­ing to pay more to board our chil­dren.

This is not some­thing any par­ent wishes and it is heart­break­ing to do.

Pre­mier Mark McGowan im­plies it is just Moora stu­dents af­fected. Yet the col­lege takes stu­dents from far and wide.

It is the only Year 12 high school be­tween Perth and Geraldton — a huge area.

As for the es­ti­mated $9 mil­lion needed to up­grade the col­lege, this ridicu­lous fig­ure has popped up con­ve­niently this year and yet reg­u­lar main­te­nance has been de­layed, con­ve­niently.

The build­ing is still safe and be­ing used, with an es­ti­mated cost of $162,000 over­due for re­pair.

What is the Gov­ern­ment go­ing to spend on bus ser­vices, roads and up­keep to get the kids to schools be­tween 100km and 300km away?

Also, the schools sug­gested to ac­com­mo­date the stu­dents are al­ready close to full, with no room for the cur­rent stu­dents, let alone those com­ing through in years to come.

This clo­sure does not af­fect me per­son­ally at this stage but it does af­fect the fam­i­lies and stu­dents I have taught and am teach­ing.

As well as the indige­nous stu­dents of the fu­ture.

Shame on the Gov­ern­ment.

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