From its genesis, the Building the Education Revolution was always going subject to political and media scrutiny. Yet it’s unfortunate that schools get caught as collateral damage in the cross-fire of political debate and editorial opinion.
While economists and politicians seem to stand divided over the Building the Education Revolution’s economic merits, there is no doubt that schools have benefited from the program. I see this on a daily basis when I visit schools and talk to students, parents and teachers.
Building and improving school infrastructure is a long-term investment in educating young people and building the social fabric of local communities. In our system for example, the BER is supporting the ways in which we are thinking about and delivering 21st century schooling. It has focussed our energies on the very nature of learning and teaching. A primary school hall becomes many things: learning space, liturgy space, community space, creative art space etc.
In moving forward, schools must take up the challenge of using the infrastructure wisely to support contemporary learning and teaching not just for this generation but future generations of learners. There will always be differing views on how best to stimulate the economy but investment in school infrastructure will pay dividends in the long run.