This week is International Adult Learners Week - He Tangata Matauranga, however after 100 years, Adult Community Education through schools in New Zealand will be decimated.
On Saturday 12th September, communities nationwide will protest the government decision to cut funding for night classes through schools. The decision by the government to cut 80% funding to school based ACE in 2010 has met widespread criticism with all funding withdrawn and 20% (approximately $3 million) "reinvested" into Numeracy, Literacy, Foundation skills and Sign language - schools are required to compete for funding.
In Auckland, the noon "Challenge the Change" March down Queen Street will start from Meyers Park and end at Queen Elizabeth Square with messages of support from Green Party Co-leader Russell Norman, MP Catherine Delahunty and Labour MP and Opposition Spokesperson for Education - Maryann Street.
Wellington will hold a noon Balloon Release ceremony at the Civic Square and Christchurch communities will assemble at Speakers corner at Cathedral Square at noon. The Nelson community will present a mural created by the local art night class to local National MP Nick Smith at the Nelson Markets around 11.45am along with giving away 100 balloons marking a century of Night classes.
Other planned events include a Balloon release at 1.30pm in Ashburton on Friday the 11th September at the Domain Pavilion at Walnut Ave, Petition signing on 12th September at Napier and Hasting markets and a Public Protest meeting in Dunedin at Logan Park School from 6pm on Friday the 18th September.
"These cuts are just stupid!" says the President for Community Learning through Schools (CLASS) - Maryke Fordyce. "Many school programmes without government funding will be forced to close their doors. Learners in most communities in this recession can't afford the 300% increase in fees that schools will have to pass on to learners. User pays will affect those that need it the most. We are right behind our communities and encourage all who support accessible and affordable adult education to support local events".
Maryke Fordyce - CLASS President and Director of Risingholme Community Centre
22 Cholmondeley Ave - Christchurch 8023
Moana Papa - Campaign Manager (CLASS)
Save Night Class Campaign Events
Auckland - Protest March 12th September noon
Wellington - Civic Square Balloon Release 12th September
Christchurch - Rally at Speakers Corner, Cathedral Square 12th September noon - 2 pm.
Nelson - Art presentation to Nick Smith (National MP) 11:45am Nelson Market
Hastings - Petition signing table at Hastings Market 12th September
Napier - Petition signing table at Napier Market 12th September
Ashburton - Friday 11th September Balloon release 1:30pm
Dunedin - Logan Park High School 18th September 5-6pm