A positive step has been taken to address education system inadequacies in Griffith, Coleambally, Deniliquin, Yanco and Finley.
Member for Murray Helen Dalton met with NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell in Sydney on Wednesday to discuss issues in schools across the electorate of Murray.
Critical staff shortages at Murrumbidgee Regional High School was the first item on the agenda with the Minister.
Mrs Dalton said she made it very clear to the Education Minister that the seriousness of the issues need immediate intervention from herself and her department.
“This year alone 300 classes across the two campuses have been left unattended because there are not enough teachers. This is a dangerous situation and is not acceptable.
“It is creating significant issues regarding behaviour of students and is having a detrimental impact on the health, wellbeing and morale of the teachers currently at the school.
“The teachers that are at Murrumbidgee Regional High are amazing. They are working to the best of their ability in a system that is evidently not adequate – there are simply not enough teachers at the school,” she said.
“I implored the Minister to urgently act to help put more teachers on the ground at Murrumbidgee Regional High School. Griffith immediately needs to be designated as a 4-point school which will mean incentives for teachers to come and work there. Being a 4-point school would put Griffith on par with other schools in the area; at the moment Griffith is the only area in the region that is less than a 4-point designation,” Mrs Dalton said.
“I also suggested to the Minister that she consider putting a dedicated principal on each site to deal with the student, teacher and parent concerns.
During the meeting Mrs Dalton took the opportunity to raise the substandard facilities which are plaguing several schools across the electorate including Coleambally Central School and Deniliquin High School.
“In Griffith we have unflued gas heaters, which is just not acceptable. In both Coleambally and Deniliquin, the hospitality facilities at the schools haven’t been upgraded and they’re unable to offer hospitality as a subject because of that, despite demand from the student body. The Education Minister is now aware of the need for urgent attention to schools in Murray,” she said.
Mrs Dalton believes that students in rural schools deserve the learning experiences and access to the same standard of resources and facilities as their city counterparts. She said she would not rest until the inadequacies are resolved.