Heat stroke
Heat stroke

21 Gympie classrooms still waiting for their promised air-con

AS THE Gympie region heads towards a top of 38 degrees today the LNP has asked the Education Minister to turn off her office air-con until each of the 300 schools she promised to air-condition have their cooling systems installed.

Twenty-one of those schools are in the Gympie region.

Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie said around 150 schools which were promised air-conditioning by the start of this term were still waiting for Labor to keep its promise.

Thousands of students in schools in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Gympie, Ipswich and Toowoomba are today struggling to learn in heatwave conditions.

“The Education Minister should switch off her own air-con until Labor has air-conditioned all of the 300 schools it promised,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Grace Grace wouldn’t like to work in 40-degree heat and she shouldn’t expect our kids and teachers to do just that.

Sienna, 8 (pink sleeves) and Harper, 6 (yellow) McDonald cool off at the beach. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Sienna, 8 (pink sleeves) and Harper, 6 (yellow) McDonald cool off at the beach. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

The House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training will scrutinise the Department of Education, Skills and Employment on actions being undertaken to address the education attainment gap between students living in regional, rural and remote areas and their peers in metropolitan areas.

Every year about 30,000 teenagers in rural and regional Australia don’t finish Year 12.

This barely believable figure is the main reason regions are slipping further behind Brisbane in the livability stakes.
In Brisbane, 81 per cent of students get to the end of Year 12. No regional city gets to 70 per cent completion and several towns barely register a 50 per cent completion rate.

The Gympie Times has been banging on about this inequality for years. Yet it still took the State Government five years to sign off on a no brainer that has opened educational doors to Gympie region youth - releasing the unused TAFE building at the GYmpie uni campus so that USC could expand.

It’s this educational inequality that leads to less career opportunities, higher unemployment and lower income for those of us who choose to not live in a capital city.

The Department’s appearance before the Committee on Wednesday will be the first public hearing of the Committee’s inquiry into the education of students in remote and complex environments.

Let’s hope if leads to some real change to even up the playing field.

Gympie Times


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