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Petitions on adult education presented

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Maryan Street
Maryan Street

Wellington, March 24 NZPA - Opponents to cuts to adult education, including two MPs, had a chance to vent their feelings before a parliamentary select committee today.

Labour MPs Maryan Street and Damien O'Connor presented petitions signed by 51,089 and 120 respectively while Nelson's Nayland College adult community education coordinator Kathryn Sclater, whose petition was signed by 776, presented it via a link.

The committee was told the Government's decision to slash adult community education (Ace) funding was depriving people around the country of the chance to learn as adults, with provincial and rural areas hardest hit.

Northland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne-Hawke's Bay, Waikato, and the much of the South Island were worst affected.

Ms Street said even if people were willing to pay more to study without the funding there were greatly reduced numbers of providers offering courses.

Savings of $13 million had impacted on 200,000 people while the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) had a surplus of its grants in 2008-09.

Pauline Barnes from the TEC said there was an inevitable reduction in what was on offer because of the cuts but the TEC would work to ensure there were providers in the different areas.

She said the TEC was giving compensation to schools which were financially set back by having to pay out redundancies for their night school staff.

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