Interest needed to save arts at GOTAFE

D-DAY: Photography teacher Warren Tait and graphic design teacher Michele Hoffman could be two of seven teachers out of a job if their respective arts courses discontinue at Wangaratta GOTAFE this year. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

ALL arts courses through Wangaratta GOTAFE could cease this year if student enrolment numbers fail to increase.

A decision will be made at the end of March whether courses in graphic design and visual arts – including painting, sculpture and photography – will fold.

Some teachers have already lost their jobs at GOTAFE and seven further local full-time jobs could go if the axe falls on arts.

GOTAFE Wangaratta is one of the few TAFEs in regional Victoria that still carry graphic and visual arts.

The decline in enrolments started after changes to government funding for educational institutions, pushing course fees up – a cost that students have had to wear.

TAFE funding for certain arts courses has dropped from about $12 an hour to as little as $4 an hour.

GOTAFE chief executive officer, Paul Culpan, said no formal decision has been made yet on course closures.

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