January 4, 2017: Your say on education, meetings, and tax breaks

Malcolm Scott, of Newstead, shares his thoughts on year 11 and 12 education.
Malcolm Scott, of Newstead, shares his thoughts on year 11 and 12 education.

Year 11 and 12 Education

AS A former teacher for nearly 30 years and a life member of the Australian College of Educators, I would like to comment on the future of year 11 and 12 education in Tasmania.

Tasmania has seen some educational disasters like modern schools and several others and is now trying to unscramble the egg in relation to four year high schools and secondary colleges.

The rationale behind secondary college was mainly, they could offer a wide range of subjects some at depth and there would be specialist teachers.

Look at the teaching aspect, is the supply of suitably qualified specialist teachers who can teach at this elite level available, is the university up to meeting the need?

I got a good degree and a high distinction in my Diploma of Education but would have been inadequate to teach at this level.

Not having grades 11 and 12 in high schools has robbed those students of being really responsible leaders in their schools.

What to do with the colleges? I feel their role in one aspect could be diminished and in another changed.

Students from high schools could go to the college one or two days a week for specialist subjects if needed for future study, but remain in the high school for the rest.

Alternatively, the colleges could become community colleges, some HSC subjects, but a major training role alongside TasTafe in areas of future job need in human services, aged care, dementia care, home care, cleaning, disability work, tourism front of house, guiding cookery, teaching Mandarin, enrolled nursing and home nursing.

I could go on and on, we know where the jobs of future are if we pause and think. The Education Department is full of highly paid bureaucrats who could implement the changes. Well, at least I’ve said my penny’s worth.

Malcolm Scott, Newstead.

Committee disbanded

AS REPORTED by Holly Monery (The Examiner, December 21) the City of Launceston council will disband the Strategic Planning and Policy Committee “due to the public nature of its meetings”.

Discussion and debate will once again go behind closed doors away from the media spotlight. ‘Issues'  that 'aren't issues' for the community are dealt with before the public has heard of plans for our city.

The council will only release matters when it has 'thoroughly worked through the issues together', that is before they are able to become issues for the public. Sounds like second guessing to me, the council trying to get the upper hand, making decisions without public consultation, dealing with issues that may be of a concern to be community but which they deem are not.

Could these issues, which aren't issues, have anything to do with building height, preservation of heritage architecture, and traffic congestion?

Vicki Jordan, Mowbray.

Facts

LEN LANGAN (Letters, The Examiner, December 15) and Darrell Matthews (The Examiner, December 4).  Asylum seekers are not illegal immigrants. 

As a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention Australia is responsible for those who have sought its protection. The status of those assessed and who remain on Manus Island would appear to be about 450 assessed as genuine refugees and 150 who either chose not to be assessed or did not meet the criteria.

New Zealand has offered to take 150 of these men. The derogatory labels we use serve one purpose only  to make them appear less worthy so we can justify how we treat them.

A refugee by definition means that you have no home to go back to without without fear of persecution.

We at least should have the guts and decency to afford them that much.

Tony Newport, Hillwood.

American bullies

I SEE that the US, under its delusional president, is going to "take the names" of all nations that vote against Jerusalem being made capital of Israel.

What do they think we are, a bunch of delinquent school kids? 

What are they going to do about it?

Give us all a hundred lines like "I must not annoy America" or something?

They see themselves as the planet's police force.

I see them as the greatest threat to world peace in decades and a king size pain in the anus.

Get real, America.

Richard Hill, Newstead

Tax breaks 

SCOTT Morrison’s “all the way with the USA” with tax breaks for the wealthy is going to go down a treat.

The trickle-down effect, espoused by Malcolm Turnbull, has seen wages stagnate, conditions deteriorate and more wealthy companies paying not one cent of tax.

The US has just added more than a trillion dollars extra in debt from the tax breaks there, they need to find ways to get that money and it will be the poor who provide it, as it will here.

Peter Taylor, Midway Point.

Aurora electricity bonus

APPARENTLY many Aurora customers are still waiting for their promised Christmas electricity bonus cheques.

According to Aurora’s website, cheques were mailed out on December 8, 11, 12 respectively.

Given Australia Post’s woeful reputation for timely mail delivery, you’d have to wonder which genius bureaucrat thought sending out thousands of letters in the fortnight before Christmas would see them delivered on time.

Ian and Elisabeth William, Kings Meadows.

Vision

I SEE in the Turnbull government cabinet reshuffle that Queensland Nationals MP, David Littleproud has been appointed to oversee Jobs and Innovation. As a conservative, I wonder if he understands that the two really do belong together.

Geoff Mooney, Westbury.