The Grattan Institute has analyzed the figures released on Monday which indicates Victoria will suffer from a school shortage if the state government does not build 220 extra schools in the next decade.
The report suggested that between 2016 and 2026, around 190,000 more students will take admissions into schools, making it difficult for the school managements to cope up well with the pressure and the volume of students. The institute’s education Director Peter Goss said that a “mini baby boom” in the number of students in Victorian schools has put significant pressure on the entire education system.
“The population is forecast to grow for the foreseeable future, and we need to make sure there are going to be classrooms and schools,” Goss told AAP on Monday. He said that the rise in the number of students was not a temporary change in the education system and will gradually increase. Hence, it was necessary to have a permanent solution and not just “ever more portables.”
Goss also added that the state will require around 220 more schools by 2026 to manage the increasing influx of school students. The government did not respond to the pressure that the education system has undergone since 1980s, believing that population growth would remain flat, the executive director said. He told AAP that the government did not show any spontaneity on these issues for a long time.
The continuous growth in the population of school goers, according to the report, makes it mandatory for the government to ensure the availability of around 7,200 extra classrooms and teachers along with 220 new government or non-government schools. The Age reported that Australian Education Union Victorian branch President Meredith Peace stated her disappointment as there will be no new state schools in 2016.
Peace stated that the rate at which the portable classrooms were being shifted across the Victorian region is unacceptable. She said the Andrews government led by Premier Daniel Andrews provided a good beginning to establishing better educational platform by doubling the expenditure on school infrastructure. Still, there was a need to have more funds to ensure aiding the state to cope up well with the school shortage crisis.