Public education walkers reach Wollongong

Issue 

BY GRANT COLEMAN

WOLLONGONG — On November 21, students from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, labeled the Coalition government "out of order" and started their "walk for a better education". The journey has taken them through the Blue Mountains, Sydney and into Wollongong. The walk will culminate when it reaches Canberra on December 16, and the students set up the Australian Education Embassy on the lawns of Parliament House.

When they reached Wollongong, the walkers had covered a distance of around 330 kilometers. Along the way, they have visited schools and staged community events to gain support for their campaign to save public education and reverse education funding cuts.

Out of Order's Toby Finlayson stated that: "Public education has been cut by $6 billion under this government, resulting in poorer equipment, larger classes and more pressure on teachers, academics and university staff."

Campaign coordinator Jason Markwick explained: "The Out of Order movement is demanding that the federal government: introduce an emergency funding package of $800 million to address the education crisis; in the June 2003 budget, increase federal education spending, through grants to the states, by $2 billion; increase spending to university and TAFE institutions by $2 billion; reject privatisation of the Australian university sector; stop fee deregulation for universities; and reject "up front" fees for university and TAFE courses."

For more information contact Jason Markwick or Toby Finlayson on 0407 763 520.

From Green Left Weekly, December 11, 2002.

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