Criticism of government plans to stop funding hobby classes for adults continues.
Community Learning Association through Schools (Class) president Maryke Fordyce said Government had under-estimated the level of outrage at cuts to Adult Community Education.
“Initial surveys conducted by schools with learners show that adults will not enrol in night classes if course fees are increased.”
She said over 200,000 adults participating in night classes would be affected by the cuts and that the self-funding option was not viable.
“A distinctive feature of night classes is its affordability and accessibility for learners,” Mrs Fordyce said.
But why aren’t the students willing to fund them themselves?
Students in the Spanish classes I taught paid only $6.50 a lesson for 10 two-hour lessons. Had they continued for another 10 it would have cost them only another 50 cents a lesson because their fees paid the upfront costs, the biggest of which was advertising, and the taxpayer paid me.
I don’t think anyone in the class would have called $3.25 an hour expensive and given most were employed, and many were professionals, they could probably have afforded to pay a lot more.
Of course they’re not going to say that if asked because they’ll hope that if they cause enough fuss the government will back down.
But if they’re not willing to pay more directly why are they willing to pay more indirectly through the taxes which now pay the bulk of the costs?
And if they think hobby classes for adults are a priority for taxpayer funding, what other area of publicly funded education would they sacrifice instead?
Community classes do have value but they aren’t nearly as important as improving literacy and numeracy.