Crs vote to advocate for out-of-class education providers

Dunedin city councillors have voted to advocate for out-of-classroom education providers which have missed out on funding.

Mayor Aaron Hawkins pushed a notice of motion to council at a meeting on Thursday in response to funding cuts by the Ministry of Education last month.

The cut in funding resulted in education programmes by the Otago Museum, Orokonui Ecosanctuary and the Otago Peninsula Trust losing out on financial support.

Mr Hawkins said the programmes connected children to science and the environment and there was more demand for programmes than what had been funded.

He urged the council to play an active role for those providing a service to further children’s education.

Deputy mayor Christine Garey said the situation resonated with her as a former teacher.

Experiences outside the classroom were a highlight for children, and trips to Otago Museum and the Royal Albatross Centre among others were often the first time children got to have these experiences, she said.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary educator and performer Tahu Mackenzie was given a shout-out by Cr Garey and Cr Carmen Houlahan for the amount of work she has done inspiring children with her performances — "she is such a bubbly vivacious educator," Cr Houlahan said.

She was disappointed the Ministry of Education had not provided enough funding, and it was not good enough, Cr Houlahan said.

The council did not commit any money to classroom education.

She felt the council was being made to feel it should meet the financial expectations, otherwise children would miss out.

The motion was carried unanimously, and will allow the council to liaise between providers of education programmes, the Ministry of Education and other benefactors to continue furthering education for children outside the classroom.



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