Mr McBRIDE (MacKillop) (14:32): My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister advise the house how the government's budget rescue package is supporting TAFE SA, and what are some of the challenges that the organisation has had to overcome?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (15:41): I am very pleased to rise to close the second reading on the Education and Children's Services Bill. It has been some time coming for this bill to have passage through the parliament. It has in a fairly different form, but with significant similarities, passed the parliament before. Of course, the bill has been in one form or another considered for some significant time.
Ms LUETHEN (King) (14:19): My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister advise the house about the details of grants to the Tea Tree Gully Toy Library and, in particular, whether the government has or has not increased funding to the Tea Tree Gully Toy Library over what the previous government was providing?
Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:13): Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house on measures being undertaken to better support TAFE SA and advise what challenges the organisation is dealing with?
The SPEAKER: The Minister for Education.
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:13): Thank you very much, sir, and I am very pleased to have this important question from the member for Hammond, who understands how important TAFE SA is not just for the students studying but also for the needs of South Australian businesses that have workforce needs and for the South Australian economy as a whole.
That this house notes that 26 October is World Teachers' Day (Australia) and expresses its appreciation to all South Australian teachers and former teachers who have dedicated their lives to helping our next generation to be all they can be.
Internationally, World Teachers' Day is celebrated on 5 October each year. However, as this is usually within the Australian school holidays, Australia celebrates it on the last Friday of October, which is this coming Friday 26 October.
The quality of teaching is a significant factor in the success of students, and effective teachers understand that the learning needs of students vary from one student to the next. An important theme of World Teachers' Day is 'The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher'. It is important that we acknowledge that the work our teachers do is invaluable, and it is important that we recognise that work and thank all teachers for what they do. I also think it is important that we acknowledge the teaching that occurs regardless of the sector it occurs within.
Mr PATTERSON (Morphett) (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister advise the house about the recent success of South Australian school students in an international scientific competition?
Dr CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (20:33): I indicate that I am the lead speaker for the opposition on this bill. It is a pleasure for me to address this bill because not only do I have the utmost respect for teachers and the work they do but I also have respect for the Teachers Registration Board, the work it does and the people who work for it and who are board members of it.
The CHAIR: Good morning, everybody. The estimates committees are a relatively informal procedure and, as such, there is no need to stand to ask questions. I understand that the minister and the lead speaker for the opposition have agreed an approximate time for consideration of proposed payments, which will facilitate a change of departmental advisers. Can the minister and the lead speaker for the opposition confirm that a timetable for today's proceedings as previously distributed is accurate?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (16:42): I am very pleased to be able to summarise the second reading on behalf of the government. It is an honour to have been able to handle this bill in the second reading stage. The government will provide ministers—either me or the Deputy Premier, or both of us—to support the committee stage, which we do not propose to enter into beyond clause 1 tonight, certainly not at this stage anyway.
Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (15:20): My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house regarding STEM Works being undertaken in my electorate of Mount Gambier?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —the STEM Works program, which of course was announced a few years ago, including a $250 million investment by the taxpayers of South Australia announced by the former minister and supported by the opposition to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics facilities in our schools around South Australia, is underway. Those works are underway. A number of them have been opened, and I have been pleased to assist in local members' participation in a number of those openings.