Unanimous support for anything is unreasonable. The basis for this agreement is that such a big new campus for Wonthaggi Secondary is starting off big and is no doubt planned to get bigger.
Are there really economies of scale for mega schools or is it never ending amalgamation, Jeff Kennett style? Is the objective to divest the state of responsibility for education to highly paid managers who can afford to pay for consultants etc etc?
In Australia, our political representatives keep telling us that we can’t afford anything anymore. Everything is being privatised per the doctrine of free market economics, a major cause of WWI.
For our kids, we were guilty of taking them out of government school, headed for more than 2000 pupils.
Making provision for gatherings of thousands hasn’t done much good for chooks in battery cages so why do we think it makes sense for our kids in monster schools?
It’s only occasionally that you get a reminder about this kind of thing but, from memory, more than 40 per cent are now in non-government schools, with more than 75 per cent of these being Catholic. Aren’t we supposed to have separation between church and state?
International comparisons have always shown Finland to be a leader in education. Schools are all government and maximum 400 pupils. Teachers must have a Masters degree. So teachers are part of smaller communities and well respected.
Corresponding with our Minister, he advises that school for fewer than 1300, per WSC, would not get considered for funding at all. So our kids must commute.
What sense does it make for as many as 600 of them to spend more than two hours per day on buses? Evidently the number for Phillip Island itself is 400 or so with the rest coming from Waterline communities, from Grantville south. Surely for 600 this is critical mass for a school, perhaps not in Cowes but certainly for Newhaven or San Remo?
More than anything, on the advice of more and more institutions, for major construction, private or public, the most important criterion today is to make provision for climate change.
We allow ourselves to be led by the nose with confidence that oil will last forever.
Obviously there’s a significant risk that it won’t.
Simultaneously, we’re coaxed into blind faith that we’re not in danger of overheating the planet with CO2 emissions. Each of these is a big risk. When either of these reaches crisis point, it will be sudden. There won’t be any warning, no “business as usual”.
So why punt as much as $32.5 million on such a big school, so far away? When will obsession with “more, bigger, faster, better” come to an end? How about a proper campaign for new high school closer than Wonthaggi?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.