The Guardian March 21, 2001


Attempt to freeze TAFE funds thwarted

The refusal of most state governments to sign a new federal agreement 
for TAFE highlights the Howard Government's appalling treatment of the 
Tertiary and Further Education sector, says the Queensland Teachers' Union 
(QTU). The proposed agreement would effectively freeze TAFE funding.

The QTU applauded the resolve of the state Ministers last week in refusing 
to sign the Federal Government's funding scheme for 2001-2003.

Federal Education Minister David Kemp met state Vocational Education 
Ministers in Canberra in an attempt to have an agreement signed which would 
fund vocational education, including Australia's TAFE institutes.

QTU President Julie-Ann McCullough described the Federal Government's offer 
as "miserable and sub-standard".

"We have calculated that an injection of $310 million per year is required 
to restore the damage done by the past funding freeze", said Ms McCullough

She said it was becoming increasingly difficult for TAFE teachers and 
tutors to meet the learning needs of growing numbers of students.

"TAFE is an extremely important sector of our education system and deserves 
to be treated better than a politician's plaything used to manipulate 
employment figures.

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