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College faces financial difficulties

Monday 20 March 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Economy, Education, National


College faces financial difficulties
Tereora College. COOK ISLANDS NEWS/21081107

Tereora College is asking the Ministry of Education to increase its funding after suffering ‘major’ financial pressures.

Tereora College is asking the Ministry of Education to increase its funding after suffering ‘major’ financial pressures.

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Te Tuhi Kelly on 20/03/2023

Increasing the budget when there is no money for such an expense is not the only option. The Progressive Party advocated a solution for such an outcome which we predicted was coming. Disestablish some of the schools that have falling rolls or are not providing a proper education for our children. Develop Tereora College as an educational campus from cradle to grave. I.e., Early childhood, through primary, intermediate and college, with three outcomes, post college. Outcome 1. Further tertiary education, diploma, undergrad degrees and higher, Option 2. Further technical training i.e., apprenticeships or equivalent and Option 3. Providing vocational options for those not academic or technically adept either culturally or work focus. Te reo and culture to be compulsory subjects up to year 9. The money saved from disestablishment goes to the Campus Budget and increasing staffing levels and salaries. Disestablished schools to be repurposed for campus, technical and vocational purposes. Yes there will be resistance from those who won’t want their schools disestablished and this is quite understandable. However If our children continue to fall behind in their education and the opportunities of having a proper education allied to their abilities and capacities to learn then it is only a matter of when not if as we see them fall by the wayside. We want our teaching staff to be remunerated properly then increasing the budget through essentially asking for a top up or hand out is not going to cut it. The Govt has a finite budget and if people have read and understood the most recent budget, there is no or very little leeway to manoeuvre, not with the Govt projecting an annual deficit. This is a medium to long term plan and meanwhile the money will need to come from current Govt budgets, which means reprioritising, which also means someone or somebody is going to be affected down and upstream.