Students across the state are back at school. This time of year has been made no easier by the Liberal government’s cuts to schools and education. Across the state teachers jobs were in limbo until the last possible moment and 266 teachers have been cut from classrooms. There are also a concerning number of principals in temporary roles and school chaplains have missed the start of the school year after a contract delay. This has left students and parents alike in the dark as to who will be teaching some classes.
To make matters worse it has been revealed that the Education Minister (Jeremy Rockliff) will replace the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority (TQA) with himself. This means that Mr Rockliff will be in charge of determining the curriculum for year 11 and 12 students across the state.
If the Government is determined to scrap the TQA it should be considering real, long lasting reform. Labor’s plan for an expert policy body, spearheaded by the University of Tasmania, has attracted strong community support. Labor envisages this policy body will be responsible for establishing an integrated and comprehensive educational model starting from early childhood and ending with tertiary education or trades training for all Tasmanians. Labor believes that the future education of our kids should be determined by experts and long term vision.
I am sure that teachers, principals and support staff are working tirelessly to ensure that the school year gets off the best start possible. However, the Liberal Governments cuts to education are an affront to commonsense and our children and our state’s future will be diminished as a consequence. By attacking frontline public services like education and health the Liberal Government are doing more harm than good.