Classes still going but not enough students

16:00, Feb 10 2014
Community education students
ADULT LEARNERS: Glenfield College community education students visit a marae in preparation for Maori Language Week.

Student numbers are low at the North Shore's only remaining community education programme - because people do not know it is still running.

Glenfield College receives Tertiary Education Commission funding to run English language classes for people who qualify and courses for target groups such as local Maori and Pacific Islanders.

The other classes in the school's programme are self-funding.

Community education co-ordinator Greg Hoskins says they would like to see more students in the "hobby" classes.

"There are a lot of people who would love to attend a course if they knew they were happening."

Numbers are falling for trade courses like woodwork and welding and craft courses such as upholstery and pottery.


But computer and business classes are always popular and interest in health and fitness is growing, Mr Hoskins says.

New classes are being introduced this year, such as kung fu taught by New Zealand martial arts champion Xue "JoJo" Hua.

There are also plans to team up with local businesses to upskill people in the community and get them into employment.

Rangitoto College and Northcote College both cut their community education programmes at the end of last year.

The North Shore schools used to team up to advertise but now Glenfield College cannot afford to do it alone, Mr Hoskins says.

They have focused on social media promotion and online advertising to boost enrolment.

Students come from as far away as Albany and Browns Bay to do the classes.

Long Bay College, Birkenhead College, Takapuna Grammar School and Westlake Boys High School dropped their community education programmes when Government funding was cut by 80 per cent in 2010.

Mr Hoskins says Glenfield College numbers dropped from 20 to 30 students per class to about 10 because course prices had to rise to cover costs.

"We have funding secured for the entire year, going into the next, and we're planning on keeping it that way," Mr Hoskins says.

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North Shore Times