Clo­sure of ag col­leges is ig­no­rant

The Gympie Times - - YOUR SAY -

I WRITE to ex­press dis­plea­sure and frus­tra­tion with the de­ci­sion taken by our State Gov­ern­ment to close two agri­cul­tural train­ing col­leges in Queens­land.

This can­not be de­scribed in any other way than ig­no­rance, bloody mind­ed­ness, anti ru­ral and anti com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment.

Hav­ing had three sons grad­u­ate through Emer­ald Agri­cul­tural col­lege dur­ing the 1980s and a grand­daugh­ter cur­rently in at­ten­dance, I am qual­i­fied to com­ment on the mag­ni­tude of the loss to both the ru­ral sec­tor and so­ci­ety at large.

Uni­ver­sity was not a pro­duc­tive op­tion for our sons and I be­lieve the same ap­plies to many who are in­ap­pro­pri­ately led into re­main­ing as stu­dents for four or more years be­yond pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion, with min­i­mal po­ten­tial to con­vert that time into a pro­duc­tive con­tri­bu­tion to per­sonal and greater com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment.

The hands-on skills, balanced with tech­ni­cal and sup­port­ive ed­u­ca­tion, ap­plied through these ru­ral train­ing col­leges of­fered the per­fect foil to stu­dents be­ing forced to move through uni­ver­sity on the­o­ret­i­cal auto pi­lot, all too of­ten hav­ing those years add noth­ing to their fu­ture.

The skills and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of com­mu­nity re­spon­si­bil­ity im­parted to my sons by their ag col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence has played a vis­i­ble and pro­duc­tive part in their per­sonal and fam­ily lives in the 30 years since their Emer­ald Ag Col­lege train­ing.

I re­call a pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus and friend be­ing adamant that 50 per cent of his stu­dents were ill placed at uni­ver­sity. In his view, those stu­dents were on a hid­ing to nowhere and the pub­lic in­vest­ment in their sup­posed “ed­u­ca­tion” was a waste of time and money by any mea­sure.

Agri­cul­tural train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and TAFE col­leges of­fer­ing hands-on train­ing lead­ing into skilled jobs and ap­pren­tice­ships are po­tent op­tions for stu­dents who then have a ma­tured ca­pac­ity and some real work ex­pe­ri­ence to go back into a well cho­sen uni­ver­sity course com­men­su­rate with their ca­pac­ity, should they choose to do so.

One con­sid­ers the ob­vi­ous and mas­sive waste of funds on var­i­ous fronts by this gov­ern­ment com­pared with the rel­a­tively in­signif­i­cant im­pact of the costs as­so­ci­ated with these ag col­leges.

Our un­com­mit­ted par­lia­men­tary agri­cul­tural min­is­ter would have been well served to at­tend the re­cent Bur­nett re­gion in­ter school Hoof & Hook com­pe­ti­tion spon­sored by the Gympie Beef Li­ai­son Group.

Two hun­dred and forty stu­dents from 17 dis­trict high schools par­tic­i­pated in a three-day camp in Gympie. The stu­dent sup­port was ob­vi­ous and any con­cept that ru­ral skills ed­u­ca­tion does not have a place was com­pletely dis­cred­ited.

We saw the re­ver­sal of a de­ci­sion to build an ill con­ceived dam here ap­pro­pri­ately re­versed, though be it at mas­sive cost. The de­ci­sion to close these two fa­cil­i­ties equally de­serves re­ver­sal given a com­par­a­tively soft fi­nan­cial land­ing and un­re­alised po­ten­tial for the fu­ture. Brice Kad­datz, Gympie

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.