When you sack more than 260 staff across Tasmania’s state primary and high schools – nearly 160 of them teachers – you are not acting in the best interests of education, let alone in the best interests of our future generations.
Yet in 2014 that’s what the State and Federal Liberal Governments did – slashing more than $2.1 billion from Tasmania’s public health and education.
Across Tasmania this month students have returned to school, but unfortunately it’s not all good news. Class sizes have blown out, in some cases to more than 30 students. The Liberals cuts mean resources for literacy and numeracy support have decreased, as well as music, drama and language classes – important programs that ensure students remain engaged in learning.
It means our kids are missing out.
This month a Labor Government has committed to restoring the damage done by the Liberals. We’ve spoken to teachers, students and parents and they’ve all asked us to repair the damage done to our schools.
Labor will invest in education because doing so makes our state stronger and fairer and because Labor stands for accessible and quality life-long learning. Labor will make Tasmania the Education State, in order to this Labor will:
- Immediately restore teacher numbers to pre-Hodgman levels.
- Support our teachers through improved training.
- Invest in our students' future by reinstating pathway planning.
- Restore the damage done to TAFE by keeping training dollars in Tasmania.
- Make education a whole of life experience and encourage Tasmanians to reskill on the job via university or TAFE.
Public education should be valued and continually developed. Our schools and teachers are something to be safeguarded and enriched, not ripped apart.
You can read more about Tasmanian Labor’s policy at our website: http://taslabor.com/making-tasmania-the-education-state/
As we race towards the end of the year I have the pleasure of attending many end of year assemblies held at schools across Lyons. There I get to hear about all the wonderful achievements our young people have made in 2015 and celebrate their hard work.
However, many young Tasmanians also grow up with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. I am reminded of Sophie, a young inspiring leader, who as well as completing year 12 was also involved in a number of community organisations. Sophie is just one of many young Tasmanians that experience mental ill-health at some stage during adolescence. Across Australia 14% of young people experience mental ill-health at some stage during adolescence; this is equivalent to 16,850 young people in Tasmania.
It’s time to ensure there is appropriate support in schools for students experiencing mental ill-health.
To ensure all young people get the chance to succeed and reach their full potential a Labor Government will provide compulsory age appropriate Social and Emotional Learning programs in primary and high schools to compliment work already being done in classrooms.
It is widely acknowledged that early intervention and prevention during childhood and adolescence is the most effective way to promote positive mental health.
Introducing programs into the classroom of every Tasmanian public school will help give all children and young people such as Sophie the opportunity to develop personal and social competence, manage their emotions and behaviours, perceive and understand other people’s emotions and viewpoints and form positive relationships.
Labor is committed to addressing the stigma associated with mental health and determined to improve the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians.