Changes at TAFE is hitting service delivery
ADMINISTRATIVE changes at Gympie TAFE are biting into service delivery, contrary to promises they would lead to an educational and economic boost.
Cost pruning will soon mean the entire Gympie-based horticulture course will be given the chop, students said yesterday.
One of them, East Deep Creek's Liana Turner, said she and other horticulture students would now have to travel to Nambour to study - and that was also where the teaching employment would be.
"I'll have to study in Nambour (next semester), which costs time and money, but our main concern is that the community will lose a valuable resource.
"I'll be okay," she said, but the community would lose a resource of people who could work with Landcare and Gympie Regional Council to revegetate sites, gather seeds for revegetation before development works and engage in weed control, including urgent cat's claw and lantana removal.
"Funding cuts will mean changes to the horticulture section.
"I'm not sure what other departments may be affected, but we've lost half our library and our librarian."
She said many students would not be able to pursue their studies because of travel time and costs.
Her story contrasts with general indications of education service improvements, which accompanied the merging of Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast TAFE administrations.
Wide Bay director Nigel Hill told The Gympie Times last August that education in Gympie would receive a boost from the merger.
He said he was enthusiastic about the change and that the local economy would benefit.
"At Wide Bay TAFE we are striving to improve outcomes for our students and providing real skills, so they can confidently enter the workforce when they've finished their studies."
He hinted at some shifting of services out of Gympie when he said the merge would "harness the benefits of each institute, to provide customised training".