I see that Labour announced the restoration and increase of the Adult and Community Education (ACE) funding that National slashed back in 2009 and largely killed the programme throughout much of the country.
Damn good idea. This used to be a vital step up for people and their families to improve themselves and the subsequent generations as well.
I have a personal history and interest in this. Both my parents left school at 5th form. But in the late 1960s, my mother went back to night school (as ACE was known then) to get her university entrance while raising me and my siblings. She subsequently got our extended families first university degree. This was an example followed by a number of members of her generation. The result was that it is now rare for any of our family kids to not go through to tertiary education.
There are tens of thousands of families who can similarly trace their changes in the availability of opportunities from this extremely effective low cost stepping stone of night schools and ACE over the many decades that the programmes have been running. It is pretty damn cheap.
The policy will see $13m of funding from the first budget, a further $9m from 2018, and $1m per year for English for Speakers of Other Languages courses (ESOL).
The major slashing of the ACE program back in 2009 had no credible explanation by the government at the time apart from reducing expenditure. This explanation rather lacked credibility as in 2009, they also gave out generous tax cuts to the already wealthy and gave their affluent backers billions of dollars in overly generous finance company guarantees.
This type of profligate and irresponsible wasting of the efficient operation of government finances caused a massive increase in government debt..
In other words this will cost about 2 days of the interest payments that the government is currently paying on their accumulated debt -currently running at about $10 million per day in interest alone.
Before the National Government’s 2009 Budget cuts, more than 400,000 Kiwis were enrolled in ACE courses every year.
National slashed funding to night schools by up to 80 per cent. That led to the number of schools providing these courses falling from 212 to just 23. Now more than 150,000 Kiwis who once attended night school and other school-based learning can’t.
Indeed. Now all we have to do is get a Labour led government in place to get these productivity boosting courses back into full operation.