Posted on 07. Dec, 2011 in News

Thousands of Victorians have voiced their opposition against the Baillieu Government’s cuts to an important hands-on education program, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Labor MPs have tabled in Parliament petitions calling on the Baillieu Government to rethink its decision to cut almost $50 million from the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning.

Almost 9000 Victorians have signed VCAL petitions.

“VCAL is an important alternative education program to VCE that gives thousands of Victorian students a chance to gain hands-on vocational training,” Mr Andrews said.

“Mr Baillieu has had months to admit he got it wrong when he slashed $50 million from VCAL coordination but has instead chosen to stand by these funding cuts.

“Coordinators are integral to delivering individualised programs to the young Victorians undertaking VCAL.

“By presenting these petitions to Parliament, we hope Mr Baillieu has a change of heart and reinstates this funding.

“Mr Baillieu needs to understand his claims that the cuts will have little impact are nonsense.

“If the Premier won’t listen to us, maybe he will listen to the thousands of students, parents and teachers who have signed these petitions against the cuts.”

Shadow Minister for Education Rob Hulls said the Baillieu Government had refused to answer questions on notice submitted by the Opposition about VCAL in individual schools.

“The Education Minister copied and pasted a general response that acknowledged the importance of VCAL, but failed to provide answers about how many teachers are assigned to teach VCAL courses and how many students are enrolled in VCAL,” Mr Hulls said.

“The Education Minister may be happy to hide behind non-answers to Opposition questions, but Victorians have a right to know how many students in their community will be impacted by these cuts.

“The Government’s refusal to answer is just arrogant and shows the contempt it has for young Victorians seeking an alternative learning program that could lead to a job or further study.”

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