MOST of our local playgrounds were set to fall silent today, June 27, with a teacher’s strike seeing our public schools cancel classes for the entire day.
While our schools will provide minimal supervision for students who have nowhere else to go, most children were kept home, gleefully enjoying an extra day off.
But the strike is not a matter to make light of, with teachers from the Bombala region seeing this as the only way to have their voices heard.
Members of the Bombala Teachers’ Association are opposing NSW government changes to the way schools are staffs and funded.
Teachers have written to the local Member of Parliament for Monaro with their concerns and are warning parents and community members that the changes are part of a plan to cut costs and blame schools for any problems with staffing and resources.
“Politicians no longer want to be responsible for ensuring our students get qualified teachers and our schools get enough money to provide a good quality education,” Bombala Teachers’ Association President, Kristil-Rae Mobbs said.
“Governments want to devolve more budgetary decision-making to schools, but this is a cover for reducing funding over time.
“Once they’ve done this, local principals and school communities will get the blame for not being able to make the money stretch to properly meet student needs.
“We are asking parents and local community members to support us in stopping these damaging changes.”
The NSW Teachers Federation itself has expressed deep disappointment at the Minister for Education’s latest response to the ‘Putting Students First Charter’ presented by the Federation.
In a letter written to the Federation, the Minister categorically refused to endorse or sign the Charter.
“The Minister has validated the concerns identified in the Charter in relation to the future of funding and class sizes, along with the future levels of permanency, executive staffing and specialist teaching,” Maurie Mulheron, President of the Teachers Federation, said.