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High tech upgrades announced for Clarence Valley TAFE campuses

Emma Pritchard

Grafton and Maclean TAFE campuses are set to receive digital upgrades after Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis announced their inclusion in a new $20 million initiative from the NSW Government aimed at building 200 high tech, modern learning spaces to support virtual learning across the state. 

Mr. Gulaptis said it will enable adult learning in the Clarence Valley to take a leap into the future.

“One of the few positives from the pandemic is a technological leap forward in response to high demand for solutions to working from home and distance learning, and this local investment makes the most of that global development,” he revealed.

“TAFE NSW campuses at Grafton and Maclean will be fitted with five state-of-the-art digitally-enabled learning spaces, designed to link local students with a state-wide network of industry qualified TAFE NSW teachers.

“This will enable students in the Northern Rivers to participate in classes, no matter where their teacher is located.”

The upgrades are expected to be completed by May 2022.

Clarence Valley teenager Tasha Moore-Banks said she is looking forward to studying online next year when the upgraded resources become available.

After originally planning to study hairdressing or beauty services, Miss Moore-Banks said she is now planning to study business management online.

“I think because things are changing all the time with the Covid-19 situation, it might be better for me to get a qualification which would allow me to work mostly from home if I had to,” she said.

“I could maybe run a beauty services business or something similar from home, and that’s what I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past year.

“It’s really good that a lot of people have the option of studying online because it does make things easier.

“I think the digital upgrades will make online studying a more popular choice for a lot of people.

“It’ll be a good thing for everyone in the local area too.”

Mr Gulaptis revealed the Grafton TAFE campus will also receive funding to install a virtual delivery space, designed to enable teachers and industry experts to train students via a virtual classroom and allow them to share valuable industry experience.

 Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee, said TAFE NSW is evolving to meet the changing learning needs of student and local communities.

 “TAFE NSW is playing a critical role in the state’s Covid-19 recovery by ensuring more job seekers and school leavers have access to the training they need than ever before,” he said.