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Government Cops More Flak Over Adult Education Cuts

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 23 NZPA - The Government has underestimated the outrage at cuts to Adult Community Education (ACE) funding, an education sector leader says.

In last month's budget an education funding "reprioritisation" led to $54 million being cut from ACE hobby courses.

Education Minister Anne Tolley was questioned about the cuts in Parliament today, and suggested those wanting to undertake such courses in the future may need to be prepared to pay more to do so.

She said funding for parenting education run through schools could also come from other agencies such as district health boards, through the Tertiary Education Commission.

But when it came to hobby courses, Ms Tolley said it was possible the services could still be provided if those taking the courses were prepared to pay more for them.

She said feedback she had received suggested people were willing to do so.

Community Learning Association through Schools (Class) president Maryke Fordyce said in a statement today the Government had under-estimated the level of outrage at cuts and the community's resolve to fight for the retention of a valued part of the education system.

She said over 200,000 adults participating in night classes would be affected by the cuts and that the self-funding option was not viable.

"A distinctive feature of night classes is its affordability and accessibility for learners," Mrs Fordyce said.

"Initial surveys conducted by schools with learners show that adults will not enrol in night classes if course fees are increased."

Community education providers have launched a campaign to get funding reinstated.

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