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Rudd's shambolic revolution.



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Wed, 17th September 2008 RUDD'S SHAMBOLIC REVOLUTION

Senator Brett Mason Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education

The Rudd Government has failed to appropriately plan, cost or implement its promised “education revolution”, according to Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Senator Brett Mason.

Speaking to a motion he moved in the Senate today, Senator Mason detailed the “whole sorry saga” of the Rudd Government’s much hyped but under-delivered education policies.

“The cornerstone of the Rudd Government’s education policy was the ‘Digital Education Revolution’ which originally promised a computer on every desk for students between years 9 and 12. That quickly changed to access to a computer, which has now changed to one computer for every two students,” Senator Mason said.

“But the biggest issue is the ongoing costs of running these units. The Government has under-budgeted the ongoing costs of maintaining computers by $1,500 per computer.

“We have heard State Government after State Government say that they will not pick up the bill for the Rudd Government’s election promises, yet, Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard stick their head in the sand and say everything is fine and that there is a State/Federal Partnership.

“So, while the State and the Federal Governments try to figure out who is going to pay the bill, year 9 to 12 students will have to wait until 2010 for their computers. Even then, because of the ongoing costs, many computers will simply sit on desks like expensive paperweights.

“And of course in case of students attending independent schools, it’s the hard-working parents who will have to dig deeper and pick up the bill for Mr Rudd’s election promise. So much for Mr Rudd’s crocodile tears for the working families. This has turned out to be an outsourced, Do It Yourself and Pay It Yourself revolution.”

Senator Mason also said that failure to deliver computers for the “digital education revolution” was symptomatic of the Rudd Government’s inability to deliver their own election commitments.

“It is not just computers in schools, but the Rudd Government has hit serious implementation problems with the National Curriculum Board, Trades Training Centres and Productivity Places. And these are just the areas where they actually have a policy. In higher education the Rudd Government has no clear policy and is currently conducting 25 reviews into various aspects of Australia’s 38 universities,” Senator Mason said.

“The Rudd Government makes announcements and commitments before anyone’s got a chance to sit down and ask, is it practicable? What will it involve? How much will it cost? Is it possible to implement?”