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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3004 ..

My response to the petition is as follows:

In the current budgetary climate the Government cannot justify using scarce government schooling resources to subsidise adult evening courses of a general nature - particularly at the expense of school age students. Most of the mature age students attending evening college are not enrolled for Year 12 Certificates and TER scores. Those who are enrolled in a two year, Year 12 Certificate program will be able to complete their programs in 1996 under a fee structure currently being negotiated with colleges.

The ACT Government has removed the restrictions on the number of colleges which are able to offer evening college programs.

This approach to the conduct of evening classes will improve access and equity for evening college students and allow the evening college program to become more cost effective.

There will be no changes in the arrangements for students with special needs. The special education classes are not part of the Year 12 program and it is not the Government's intention to change the arrangements for these classes in 1996. This means that students in special education classes, Signing for the Deaf classes, and ESL classes will continue to be subsidised. The Government has undertaken to examine ways to set an appropriate subsidy for evening college students enrolled in the Year 12 certificate program who hold pension cards.

Policies for Adult and Community Education in the ACT will be reviewed in the very near future. This process will be undertaken by the Vocational Training Authority in consultation with the adult and community education sector, including such initiatives as adult evening colleges in the 1997 ACT Training Profile.

Minister for Education and Training

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