Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
The State Education Minister has again been invited to visit East Gippsland schools for the first time – after five years in office.
A recent report based on NAPLAN data has shown a widening gap between city and country students in Victoria, with the performance of regional and rural schools as much as 20 points behind that of city schools.
Rather than commissioning yet another expensive report to find out why country students are falling behind their city cousins, in parliament last week Gippsland East MP Tim Bull issued an invitation to the Education Minister to instead get out and visit rural schools in East Gippsland.
“There are 50 schools in my electorate, but in the last five years, we have not had a single visit from the Minister for Education to any of them,” Mr Bull said.
“This is simply not good enough.
“What he could actually do, that would be better than having bureaucrats talking to bureaucrats, is to visit our rural schools, like any one of the 50 in East Gippsland, and discuss first-hand with parents, teachers and students the challenges they face for our schools to provide a good education.
“Bairnsdale Secondary College has invited the minister on a number of occasions to see the decrepit state of the school buildings and commit to the second stage of its upgrade.
“Stage one of the Bairnsdale Secondary College upgrade was completed in 2014 under the Liberal-Nationals at a cost of $10 million, but has only received funding for the planning of Stage two in the 2019 - 2020 State budget.
“The minister said in February 2015 he would come to the school when his diary permitted, but four years later his diary has not permitted a visit to East Gippsland and Bairnsdale, so I encourage him to come and visit our schools.
“The East Gippsland community wants to be listened to about the range of issue affecting country schools, to fix our broken education system with a ‘back to basics’ approach and to ensure we have adequate school facilities,” Mr Bull said.