The Nationals WA joined community members from across the South West today at a rally in Bunbury to express their strong support for camp schools.
About 100 people including The Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies, Warren Blackwood MP Terry Redman and local MP Colin Holt gathered outside Labor MP Adele Farina’s Bunbury office.
Ms Davies, who addressed the rally, said the community sent a clear message to the McGowan Government that families valued camp schools and wanted them to remain operated by the Education Department.
“The McGowan Government’s vision for education in Western Australia does not extend beyond the metropolitan area,” she said.
“They are trying to sell off camp schools, close Moora Residential College and raid important funds from our regional agricultural colleges so they can build 10 new schools in the Perth.”
“All these important regional education facilities play an important role in building student resilience, teaching team and leadership skills, developing social and civic responsibility and learning about the natural environment.”
Mr Redman said no other camp facilities in WA exist to specifically work with schools on students’ educational journey and achievement.
“Camp schools are unique in that they are managed by qualified teachers who are skilled at linking activities and learning opportunities to the education curriculum outside the conventional classroom setting ,” he said.
“Privatising camp schools means this learning conduit will be lost, as well as there being no guarantee about the affordability of accessing these fantastic regional education sites in the future.”
Mr Redman thanked parents, students and community members for their continued support of the camp schools and vowed to continue the fight to maintain these facilities.
Other speakers outlined the economic contribution camp schools make in the region, including utilising local businesses, sourcing food locally, incorporating field trips and providing insights into farming, mining, forestry and the natural environment.
Mr Holt said the Government needed to recognise the value of camp schools and listen to the protests of community members.
“These facilities are too valuable to be sold off for the government to make a small buck that won’t do anything to repair the State Government’s budget issues,” he said.
“Students, parents and education as a whole will win if camp schools stay in the public system.”
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