Newcastle TAFE Teachers & Students Prepare To Protest Against Online Learning

Students to start digital learning

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Students and teachers from Newcastle TAFE will be gathering for a protest on campus this week over the decision to transition engineering apprentices into online learning.

The teachers and students will be gathering at the Maitland Road entrance at around 12:30PM on Wednesday.

The NSW Teachers Federation have publicly denounced the TAFE’s decision to move teachings for stage one Engineering Apprentices to online learning for eight weeks of the course.

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As a result of this decision, students including Certificate III students in Welding and Metal fabrication and Fitting and Machining will be spending the most crucial stages of their course learning online.

Federation TAFE Organiser Annette Bennett said the decision was made purely to save money.

“No matter how TAFE management try to spin it, this change to course delivery is profoundly and fundamentally flawed and is driven solely for budgetary reasons,” she said.

“This is yet another example of the failure of the contestable funding model; federal policy that has seen billions stripped from vocational education over the past decade and 140,000 fewer apprentices in training.”

As an institution, TAFE is renowned for their hands-on approach to education allowing students to learn practical skills in a simulated workplace which MS Bennett said students will now miss out on.

“Apart from the ongoing access and equity issues associated with online delivery, forcing students online deprives them of the social aspects of learning in face-to-face environment,” she said.

“This cost-cutting exercise will hurt students.”

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Georgie Marr

27 October 2021

Article by:

Georgie Marr

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