Posted on 09. Sep, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government’s hypocrisy over its $48 million cuts to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning have been exposed, with Skills Minister Peter Hall presenting education awards to program participants and educators, Shadow Minister for Education Rob Hulls said.

Mr Hulls said Diamond Valley Learning Centre student Jessica McKenzie and Upper Yarra Community were both recipients of 2011 Victorian Learn Local Awards presented by Mr Hall.

“Mr Hall’s hypocrisy is astounding. While he’s making major funding cuts to VCAL, he’s describing those who provide or use the program as ‘inspirational’ and ‘fully committed to the concept of lifelong learning’,” Mr Hulls said.

“Mr Hall called for community educators to find ways to increase participation in adult education by promoting programs that offer new skills and training, particularly to disadvantaged learners, but that is exactly what VCAL successfully provides.

“By stripping VCAL funding, the Baillieu Government is putting even more pressure on adult education.”

Last week Mr Baillieu told Parliament “there has been no cut to VCAL programs…funding for VCAL is remaining”.

Yet minutes later, his Education Minister, Martin Dixon corrected the Premier, telling Parliament a “tough financial decision” was made to cut funding to VCAL coordination in schools.

In the Upper House Mr Hall said: “It is a fact that VCAL coordination will not be provided in schools from 2012”.

“The Baillieu Government needs to be honest with Victorians about the funding cut to VCAL,” Mr Hulls said.

“The fact is cuts to VCAL will be tough on schools, parents, teachers and students and is another victim of the Baillieu Government’s massive $481 million cuts to Victoria’s education budget.”

Parents, students and teachers wanting to contact the Education Minister, Martin Dixon, should send an email to martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au

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