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Now, the schools can’t even have a cake stall to help educate the kiddies.

By James-T-Kirk 31 October 2006 39

On an education related note, today, I discovered that an inner north High School was unable to teach kiddies in the fine art of baking a cake, as they are out of funds!! In fact the coffers have been dry since week 1 of term..

So, instead of teaching home science using practical skills, the dedicated teaching staff (Who are putting up with more localised pissing contests that the rest of the department [i.e. between year 8 boys]) have to put up with the abuse that follows the discovery (yet again) that more than half of the little kiddies have failed to pay their voluntary contributions, so they can’t afford to purchase ingredients….. So, the slack teachers simply bring out another couple of word searches, while the dedicated ones actually plan a meaningfull theory lesson, full of discovery and education… Meanwhile, the year 8 boys start to get restless… Leading to Level 1,2,and 3 contracts, and if the teachers are lucky, SUSPENSION!!! Yay – the lack of funds to purchase flour and eggs actually contributes to childhood delinquency – And possible later jail terms.

Good thing we are building a tree farm (Arboureteum) – and an ACT Prison.

Kind of makes you wonder why the contributions are voluntary…

Anybody want to cause a *really fun* stir?

Simply follow the steps below;

1) Ring the media, and arrange for there to be camera crews (It works best when the pollies are publically shamed)
2) Go to wollies, and purchase 2 dozen eggs, 10kg flour, 1 packet of cocoa, and 4 l of milk.
3) With the media there, make a *very public* donation or your approximately $30 of ingredients, to allow the at least one class of poor kidies to learn to cook.
4) Get a tax deductable receipt from the school.
5) Sit back and watch the news that night.

At least that will bring to the attention of the average member of the public (Who’s world exists between episodes of Home and Away or Neigbours) the plight of these kids who will never learn anything better that being able to purchase a burger at the Golden Arches…. That is as longs as their maths skills are good enough to count their change.

I would love to help, but any adverse publicity will affect my partner who is one of the teachers who could be bothered to create meaningfull lessons at the school.

And, keep in mind that the contribution is less than $30 per semester. If we don’t spend $10 million on a tree farm, that equates to voluntary contributions for every child in the education system for a significant number of years. – Gosh if that was invested, then they may never have to pay a voluntary contribution again.

In reflection, this is why I pay to send my kids to a private school – Their education is not held ransom by the kids in the class who don’t care (So they don’t bother to remind their parents about outstanding fees.) I pay for the computers, and the flour and the eggs. I suspect that that is the actual reason why parents are leaving the public system in droves.

It may cost a little extra, but I can salary sacrifice it. I suspect that you can as well.

What’s Your opinion?


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39 Responses to
Now, the schools can’t even have a cake stall to help educate the kiddies.
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monomania 1:55 pm 04 Aug 09

bonfire said :

i think a teacher in a govt school sending their kid to a private school speaks volumes about the quality of public education in the act.

And of the teacher who while having no faith in the system, remains even though there is plenty of opportunity in the private sector. Teaching requires commitment.

SheepGroper 1:16 pm 04 Aug 09

But did Gerry-Built ever get his tin of paint?

With the software, it may be that the issue is maintenance – you’d need someone with the skills to fix problems as they come up. Not to mention installation might become an issue in itself. I tried to get my bit of my Department using Linux alternatives, but they’d rather have expensive crap that’s familiar and that came with a maintenance contract than do anything that looks like breaking new ground.

James-T-Kirk 12:29 pm 04 Aug 09

Dvaey said:

“Maybe the schools should stop wasting money on things like building 10? high fences around every school.. why do that anyway, did the company that fenced the jail in make em a really good deal?”

That is an interesting comment – just how do you propose that schools prevent bored vandals from damaging school property during the weekend???????

dvaey 9:17 am 04 Aug 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

Oh and where’s Kambah Primary? As for Kambah, it’s doing alright and I would feel a wally …

It appears Im the one who looks like a wally for not reading the full thread before posting.

Gerry-Built said :

Our art department is desperate for some white acrylic paint BTW (ceiling paint will do), and if anyone has ‘spare’ copies of Photoshop (any edition, not ‘pirated’)… oh God, I’m begging again, sorry…

This bit always interests me. The fact that a school would prefer to pay some stupidly high amount to install either macs or PCs with photoshop (and the associated software), when options such as GIMP exist, puzzle me. Sure, we can tell govt off for spending money on art or an arboretum, but when schools take out a contract with microsoft to provide software (plus maintanance and updates), thats a huge expense that is also just as wasteful. If you’re desperate enough to be asking for supplies and/or software, why not reinvestigate the initial choices? Other than being bound by a useless contract that your department head signed with Dell and Microsoft. Not just that, but when you use free computer software, out-of-contract, you can double the number of students with that software, for nothing.. triple the number of students even.

Gerry-Built said :

BTW, 2005 I had to run an entire Technology workshop (wood and metal) on $3000 budget, including machine replacement and repairs – and with only about 60 out of 150 students paying their $20 semester VCs, most of materials were paid for from budget…

My maths mightnt be real good, but that means you had a budget of about $4200 where a budget of $6000 was expected. This seems a bit different (25% less than budgeted) than schools claiming to be broke from day-one.

Maybe the schools should stop wasting money on things like building 10′ high fences around every school.. why do that anyway, did the company that fenced the jail in make em a really good deal?

Hells_Bells74 9:11 am 04 Aug 09

My bf grew up there (schooled there also) and as he said everyone had money and lots of ‘stuff’ and a place to go (his mates parents often owned homes there) and had their lunches and clothes all sorted and the only ones that were really suffering were the people with ten kids etc they struggle everywhere to pay for things for the kids to participate in things. He lives in Evatt since last year and I said who do you think is doing better, he said Kambah (just his opinion of course).

dvaey 8:57 am 04 Aug 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

Oh and where’s Kambah Primary? As for Kambah, it’s doing alright and I would feel a wally saying they were more poverty-stricken than any other suburb really.

Just FYI, its not called ‘Kambah Primary’, but chcek out ‘Taylor Primary’ and ‘Urambi Primary’.

Hells_Bells74 8:31 am 04 Aug 09

Thank you Nyssa 🙂

All I can say is if you make it voluntary anything, a whole section of people like myself take themselves out of the equation. Make me pay and I shall! Or we’ll chose something else if unaffordable.

Just like I always paid my girls Catholic fees (direct debit each week reduced for low or pension income when I was paying usually) when I had weekday care of them in the past, plus the add-ons etc but since having my son in a public school and all my daughters preschools were public and asked for voluntary contributions, I never pay them but wasn’t aware anything else was voluntary.

But where I don’t pay, I try my best to help out in any way I physically can (actually lots when I did pay too) and always stay on top of the money they ask for for excursions, swimming and such and spend days spending at their fetes and the like. If I was working full-time and couldn’t help out much and could afford it I would make the voluntary payments I suppose, or would I?

Oh and where’s Kambah Primary? As for Kambah, it’s doing alright and I would feel a wally saying they were more poverty-stricken than any other suburb really.

Thumper 8:24 am 04 Aug 09

This thread gives me the same sad feeling I had when I saw the sausage sizzle outside the Gungahlin Woolies a few weeks back raising money for the Canberra Hospital.

Exactly my thoughts…

James-T-Kirk 8:21 am 04 Aug 09

Fascinating that a thread from 2006 can be resurrected, and still be just as valid….

And still in the public system Voluntary contributions are still voluntary!!!!! Which means people dont HAVE to pay….

Addison 10:05 pm 03 Aug 09

this thread gives me a boner

fabforty 7:40 pm 03 Aug 09

This thread gives me the same sad feeling I had when I saw the sausage sizzle outside the Gungahlin Woolies a few weeks back raising money for the Canberra Hospital.

This Government has very screwed up priorities and deserves a whack with the “shame” stick.

Addison 7:28 pm 03 Aug 09

public education it’s time to give it more.

nyssa76 7:18 pm 03 Aug 09

HellsBells, it has to do with the fact that public education is ‘free’ so any elective is subject to payment at the whim of the parent. Schools are ‘forbidden’ to ask for fees and this includes camps, where all students can be included whether or not they pay.

Hells_Bells74 6:30 pm 03 Aug 09

When did it become voluntary to pay your elective subject in a public school?

It’s always been an expense to take cooking classes at any high school and if my older two daughter’s school (yes Catholic) had put the word voluntary fee on their cooking classes let alone any other elective, I may just have laughed aloud (and bloody well not paid it, just despite it).

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:45 pm 01 Nov 06

How do you “fail” to make a “voluntary” payment?

Gerry-Built 12:43 pm 01 Nov 06

I’d like to contribute a Northside High School Technology/Arts Faculty (and a tenner) if anyone wants to organise this PR stunt…

…naturally I’d have to ask the executive first, ’cause I’m just a lowly classroom teacher (I doubt they’d be happy with it)… but the image is killing me LOL 😀

Our art department is desperate for some white acrylic paint BTW (ceiling paint will do), and if anyone has ‘spare’ copies of Photoshop (any edition, not ‘pirated’)… oh God, I’m begging again, sorry…

BTW, 2005 I had to run an entire Technology workshop (wood and metal) on $3000 budget, including machine replacement and repairs – and with only about 60 out of 150 students paying their $20 semester VCs, most of materials were paid for from budget…

Gerry-Built 11:57 pm 31 Oct 06

VCs are used to by ‘consumable materials’ (ie Art – paint, paper,clay, canvas; Tech – Wood,Metal, food stuffs etc)

Most schools run out of funds around end of term 3 and then term 4, thanks to the Depts glorious accounting system, faculty budgets are frozen too!

Last time VC figures were available, the actual rate of payment (for Tech subjects at least) was around 40-50% – and that was B4 they became ‘Voluntary’. That figure included inner north schools, south tugg schools and also at least two Belco schools!

nyssa76 9:13 pm 31 Oct 06

With the voluntary contributions, the faculty’s budget was screwed.

No meat cookery of any sort for starters, then the rest went out the window.

Having taught food studies in a non-govt school, they can cook with meat – beef and chicken, have icecream etc.

Parents fees pay for it all.

vancouver 7:43 pm 31 Oct 06

Having been educated in the private system, and having taught in the public sustem for 20 years, I chose the public system for my own children and have never been sorry – maybe there is a lack of funding in the public system which the private system doesn’t experience, but the overall education my children received in the public system far out-weighed the narrow social education of the private system. In addition both my children achieved well at university with undergraduate and post graduate degrees. Counting the cost of the ingredients of a cake is not the way to compare the two systems

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