MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
RYAN PARK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ILLAWARRA
MEMBER FOR KEIRA
MEDIA RELEASE-LIBERALS CONTINUE HYPOCRISY WHEN IT COMES TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINING IN SCHOOLS
Federal Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland, joined with NSW Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Ryan Park, today to call on the Federal and State Liberal Governments to get on with the job of teaching students and to stop slashing vital funding in schools.
Ms Rowland said the calls from the Abbott Government for new Australians to speak English, their cruel cuts to multicultural funding and the NSW Government’s cuts to English language classes show how hypocritical the Coalition’s approach to multiculturalism is.
“We all know English language skills are critical to maximising participation in our society. If the Government was serious about helping migrants learn English, they would not be cutting funding to English language classes and they would be pressuring their Liberal colleagues in New South Wales not to cut funding for English classes in schools.”
“NSW Senator Fierravanti-Wells used Australia Day this year to demand migrants learn to speak English, but her Government and her Liberal colleagues in NSW are cutting funding to help these people learn English.
“The Abbott Government demands migrants speak English, but are silent when their NSW Liberal colleagues slash English language services.
“The Coalition’s hypocrisy is staggering. If they were serious about helping new Australians learn English they would properly fund these programs and condemn the NSW Liberal Government for its cuts to English language classes,” Ms Rowland said.
Mr Park said the cuts threaten to undermine the idea that schools should be one of the key institutions in society where every child, no matter their background or country of birth, feel safe and included.
“We know education is often the one chance many migrant children have in understanding our country and forging new friendships, but this government wants to put all that at risk because they’re desperate to save the bottom line” Mr Park said.
“On one hand we have a government here in NSW that tells us their support of the Gonski reforms show they understand the needs of NSW Public Schools, but on the other hand they’re making savage cuts to the education services some of our most disadvantaged students rely on.”
“Imagine the number of young lives that could have been transformed through the extra 31 ESL teachers that have been cut by this government. Instead of opening doors for migrant students this government is slamming the door in their face” he said.
MONDAY, 24 MARCH 2014