NSW Education Week promotes an investment in learning

LEARNING FOR LIFE: This year's NSW Education Week focuses on facilitating lifelong learning. Photo: Shutterstock
LEARNING FOR LIFE: This year's NSW Education Week focuses on facilitating lifelong learning. Photo: Shutterstock

Our education never stops: this is being celebrated at schools all across the state as part of NSW Education Week 2021.

This year's theme is 'Lifelong Learning', recognising the critical role of education on overall wellbeing and success throughout our lives.

This goal has been reflected in the recent NSW Budget, which saw more than $725 million invested in early childhood education, $20.5 billion on schools and $2.9 billion on skills.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said successful lifelong learning started at birth and was supported by the government's investment in early childhood under the Brighter Beginnings initiative and the free preschool program.

"Approximately 45,000 children are enrolled in community and mobile preschools across the state, and the government has committed $150 million to ensure they can access these services for free, saving families up to $4000 a year per child," Ms Mitchell said.

NSW public schools take pride in their diversity, educating more than 800,000 students each year with the help of 74,000 dedicated staff members.

The NSW Budget saw funds dedicated to infrastructure, which aims to ensure buildings and facilities keep pace with the needs of these students and staff.

"There are 215 new and upgraded schools on the way, with 44 projects funded in this budget all to the tune of $7.9 billion over the next four years," Ms Mitchell said.

The NSW government also flagged a $196.6 million overhaul of the NSW Curriculum and the implementation of the School Success Model. A $2.6 billion investment will support the VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the investment would support new and innovative training for the jobs of the future.

"We're committing $11.4 million to pilot Careers NSW, a dedicated careers support service, as well as $5.2 million for an Educational Pathways Pilot Program to improve education and career outcomes for high school students," Mr Lee said.

The investment includes $13.2 million invested in the Institutes of Applied Technology pilots at Meadowbank and Kingswood, a new training model aiming to transform the VET, university, and industry sectors.

Mr Lee said the NSW government was also investing more than $2 billion in TAFE NSW.

"This strong investment includes $19 million in digital technology upgrades at campuses across the state, $5.9 million for 16 undercover trades training facilities and $11.4 million to complete or continue the construction of seven Connected Learning Centres in regional NSW," he said.