27/11/2007 - 10:00

WA education crisis set to worsen: Libs

27/11/2007 - 10:00

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Western Australia's education system has been allowed to slip into crisis under the Carpenter Government, says shadow education minister Peter Collier.

WA education crisis set to worsen: Libs

Western Australia's education system has been allowed to slip into crisis under the Carpenter Government, says shadow education minister Peter Collier.

Mr Collier described WA's teacher shortage as a "tragedy" and said concerned parents had been looking to the state government to reassure them that their children will receive the education they are entitled to.

At the same time, fewer students were looking at teaching as a first choice option because of the low salaries and limited career opportunities on offer, he said, which could have the potential to exacerbate the problem in the next few years.

"Teachers have been insulted with pay offers that will only provide decent wages to what Mark McGowan describes as 'the elite' few," he said.

"In the past year alone McGowan has shown how out-of-touch he is with teachers on several fronts that include WACOT, teacher numbers, wages and let's not forget the department's reprehensible treatment of families in remote communities which has effectively alienated WA from potential Eastern State recruits.

"Mark McGowan's strategies to attract teachers to the profession are largely ineffective, while at the same time his department struggles to retain those already in the classroom. At the start of this (school) year WA was short of 264 teachers and eleven months later we are still looking for 60 to educate classrooms throughout this enormously rich state."

Mr Collier pointed to the recent Australian Education Union Survey which reported that 43 per cent of the 81 teachers surveyed in WA had a plan to quit the profession within five years.

"Couple that with the State School Teachers' Union's prediction that we will be 600 teachers short at the start of 2008 school year and the crisis becomes very stark indeed," said Mr Collier.

 

 

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