BAILLIEU SILENCE FORCES EDUCATION COMMUNITY TO REACT

Posted on 19. Oct, 2011 in News

Newspaper advertisements by Victorian schools and education providers backs the State Opposition’s call for the Baillieu Government to reinstate the funding for the Victorian Certificate of Applied
Learning program, Shadow Minister for Education Rob Hulls said today.

Mr Hulls said the open letter newspaper advertisements directed at Premier Baillieu was further evidence that the Baillieu Government was out of touch with the educational needs of Victorian
students.

“The Baillieu Government’s savage and callous $48 million funding cut to the VCAL program has become a farcical situation where it is students who will suffer.

“For more than 130 VCAL providers to make a public statement in major newspapers calling on the Government to reinstate the funding is further evidence of how out of touch Education Minister Martin Dixon and Mr Baillieu are when it comes to the needs of Victorian students.

“Mr Baillieu can no longer deny the significant impact his funding cut will have on students’ learning and skills training to help them gain employment.

“The education and future employment prospects of more than 20,000 students now hang in the balance because of the Baillieu Government.

“Because of the success of VCAL, some schools are now considering cutting back other programs.”

Mr Hulls said VCAL was an important senior secondary qualification for year 11 and 12 students and for a whole range of reasons, not every child goes on to complete VCE. It is crucial that students
are given alternative pathways.

“VCAL Coordinators are essential for coordinating VCAL programs and the Baillieu Government must stand up for these students and ensure funding is reinstated,” he said.

“Whilst Mr Baillieu may have had a privileged educational experience, VCAL ensures that students who don’t want to go to university remain at school and benefit from a hands-on focus on learning.

“Victoria, once admired for its innovative approach to education, is all the poorer for this outrageous decision.

“Unfortunately the Government’s harsh $481 million cuts to the education budget are now starting to impact on Victorian students.”

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