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Napthine’s election launch fails public education

Nov 12, 2014News

Did you hear Premier Napthine’s Liberal campaign launch on Sunday? If you were listening for an announcement on public education, then you would have been sorely disappointed.

Napthine has failed to deliver a plan for schools, TAFE or preschool education should the Coalition be voted back in on November 29.

The only announcements for public education were:

  • A non-means-tested $100 rebate for families with children in kindergarten and preschool
  • $78 million over four years for additional Primary Welfare Officers
  • $187 million commitment to school buildings.

These commitments don’t come close to the significant investment required to deliver high-quality education to all Victorians.

The $100 rebate to families doesn’t begin to address the resourcing needed in our preschools, or help to attract and retain qualified teachers.

The $78 million commitment to Primary Welfare Officers builds on a previous commitment made in 2010, and does nothing to bring back reading recovery officers or literary and numeracy specialists that are so critical to the learning needs of our primary students.

The Premier’s commitment to school buildings are in part merely a repeat of promises made – and not kept – prior to the previous election. Many of the new school buildings promised should already be up and operating now.

Premier Napthine also pledged $75 million in incentives for business to employ young people aged 15 to 24 – but failed to address how Victoria’s youth will gain the training and skills required to attain worthwhile employment when his Government has systematically worked to dismantle the state’s public TAFE system?

Premier Napthine’s measly announcements do not meet the needs of Victorian students. We will continue to urge voters to Put Education 1st when they make their choice on election day.