“We need to re-commit to fair and equitable support to adult and community education in all our communities,” says TEU National President Lesley Francey.
Adult and community education funding has been under attack since at least the mid-1980s. The current government has made significant cuts to the ACE budget, which has seen a fall in community education provision from 200,000 in 2009 to 75,000 in 2010.
“New Zealand was a world leader in adult and community education, with ACE being an integral part of our education since at least 1915.”
“From its inception, ACE has had a vital role to play in igniting or re-igniting our desire to learn, particularly for those New Zealanders who missed the opportunity to participate in education beyond the compulsory sector, for rural communities, for adult learners, and for new migrants.”
The value of lifelong learning must be properly recognised through legislation and funding to ensure that the ACE sector, and other sectors, are adequately funded to continue providing a range of learning opportunities for our diverse communities.