House debates

Monday, 22 November 2010

Statements by Members

Building the Education Revolution Program

1:48 pm

Photo of Kelly O'DwyerKelly O'Dwyer (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Armadale Primary School is a small gem in my electorate of Higgins. Through the leadership of Principal Jim Cahill and his teaching staff, and a strong and committed parent network, Armadale primary provides a quality education for about 340 local children. But this quality education is under threat due to bureaucratic intransigence and an attitude of ‘government knows best’. This attitude was apparent with the BER funding. Instead of allowing the school to build a hall designed specifically for the very small site, the government insisted that they build a template hall that took up much more of the valuable playground space, with only a few minor amendments. As a result, the school will be operating under two different timetables to ensure that only half of the students are outside during recess or lunchtime—a timetable that has commenced already due to the building works on site.

But the parents of Armadale Primary School are not going to be bullied by bureaucrats and bad policy again. They face another battle—a battle for a double-storey portable classroom before the new term in 2011. Without it, the students of Armadale primary will be forced to use their existing hall for two level 2 classes. This means that there will be no access to the hall for any other programs or lessons such as music, dance or Italian; there will be no place to hold assembly; and there will be no area to have a before-school program or after-school program. This is quite wrong. Children need space to learn and space to play. They need the right supportive learning environment. I will continue to fight for the parents and the students of my local area to ensure that they have proper educational facilities and to ensure that the children have a great educational start in life.


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