Teachers' jobs at risk

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 10:25 07/06/2012
School

Happy working: Paige Ford, left, and Chiquita Isaacs, both 11, test their sewing skills at Raumati Beach School's technology centre, which faces an uncertain future.

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Six teachers will lose their jobs if Raumati Beach School's technology centre closes under the Government's proposed budget changes.

The changes will increase class sizes and incorporate technology staff for year 7 and 8 learners into the years 2 to 10 curriculum staff ratios.

Education minister Hekia Parata said at present the provider school with the technology centre automatically received the technology staffing from their client schools for these learners. The policy change meant that the funding would be directed instead to the school the students come from.

Raumati Beach School principal Mike Farrelly said the changes are "not looking good at all" for the centre.

"The outcome is most likely that we won't have the staff, unless the Government changes their mind," he said.

"We would have to close . . . or it would have to operate on a minimal amount of staff, maybe one or two, and I don't see how it could actually effectively run a programme."

The Raumati Beach technology centre teaches 745 students from Paraparaumu Beach, Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Kena Kena, Raumati South and Raumati Beach schools.

Pigments and dyes teacher Pip Timotea has been teaching at the centre for seven years.

She said cutting the centre would disadvantage the students when they reached college, because technology was a big part of secondary school education.

"A lot of these kids are not going to go into academic jobs. Even if they do, the designers and the architects still have to have this background," she said.

"The worst thing they're doing is that they're ripping the heart out of the technology centre for year 7s and 8s."

There are five technology centres in the Wellington region that will face possible closure under the new changes.

Mt Cook School, Karori West School, Plimmerton School, Featherston School and Raumati Beach School will have to wait until September to find out what the full effect of the budget will have on the technology centre.

Mr Farrelly said that once facts were released, the schools would get together to see what they could do, "if anything", to save the centre.

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- Kapiti Observer

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