NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian dropped by Gwynneville Public School on Tuesday to outline upgrade plans which will bring the school into the 21st century.
This pleased school principal Patricia Payne who said students and teachers had done well over the years to work in ‘’substandard’’ old aeroplane hangars that were imported from England about 60 years ago.
‘’One of the best aspects of the new buildings is the money we will save in maintenance bills. For many years it has just been band-aid jobs and patch-ups of leaking roofs,’’ Mrs Payne said.
‘’To be brought into the 21st century is exciting for the whole school community. We are excited about the concept designs that we’ve looked at thus far for the new school buildings.
‘’There will not necessarily be walls between stage groups, there will be withdrawal rooms, there will be quiet spaces for some of the children to work in and opportunities to do the indoor outdoor learning.
When and how much money the NSW Government has set aside for this project remains a mystery.
There was also no mention on what was being done to address the $14.5 million maintenance backlog in the Keira electorate.
But Ms Berejiklian did say the government was spending more than $4 billion in both maintenance and upgrading school facilities.
‘’Let me assure you every corner of NSW where funding is needed will happen,’’ she said.
Let me assure you every corner of NSW where funding is needed will happen.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
‘’I appreciate lots of schools want to have new classrooms and facilities and we will make sure we get on with the job at a cracking pace.
‘’Many schools similar to Gwynneville Public will be getting upgrades, whether it is maintenance backlog money or new facilities.’’
The Premier talks TAFE:
The Mercury reported on Census figures showing a decline in TAFE students from 2011-2016, but the Premier said the great news was that ‘’we’ve seen enrollments go through the roof in the last 12 months’’.
‘’We want to make sure TAFE is modernised to ensure people who go to TAFE get a job when they leave,’’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘’When we came to government it unfortunately was stuck a little bit in the dark ages. There were a lot of courses which were offered, which weren't really meeting the needs of industry and business.
‘’We want to make sure if you get a qualification, you get a job and that’s why we’ve put a lot of effort into reforming TAFE.
‘’We know that obviously some people have been wanting us to go a bit slower in the way we modernise TAFE but we're all about making sure we are bringing all of our learning into modern times.
‘’We want to make sure students have the best chance of being able to compete in an ever-changing world... the generation I met this morning could be changing their careers every few years and we need to make sure they have the skills to be able to do that.
‘’That’s why we are also supporting the private sector as well as TAFE. Yes the TAFE system needs to be world class but so does the opportunity for non-government providers as well.’’