The State Government’s policy to close TAFE colleges and replace them with so-called “connected learning centres” is under attack.
Federation has long argued the closure of Dapto TAFE and the opening of a
shopfront is unacceptable.
In April 2016, the now Deputy Premier John Barilaro officially opened the Dapto connected leaning centre. This facility has not met the needs of local students.
In NSW parliamentary Budget Estimates on Monday 4 September, Skills Minister Adam Marshall was under pressure to explain his Government’s policy with regard to the closure of Dapto TAFE. Under questioning, Mr Marshall admitted that the current facilities at the Dapto shopfront were not acceptable. There are no toilet facilities for students and thus no classes are being delivered.
The Minister is now under pressure with the rollout of a further four connected learning centres. Federation understands that Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Quirindi and Coonabarabran facilities are under construction and due for completion later in 2017.
If these new facilities undermine high-quality TAFE delivery, as has occurred at Dapto, Federation will campaign to oppose any reduced education services for students.