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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Theme Day: Something About to Disappear

I swore off long narrations, but for this theme, I can't help it. So here goes.

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is a polytechnic, kind of a community college/vocational-technical school offering tertiary education, short and long courses. In recent years many polytechnics tried to become universities, offering Bachelor degrees, but they still try to serve the community to some degree.

In the last few years, many polytechnics held free computer courses (often self-directed, come-when-you-can, on-line courses), and NMIT moved its off campus and plonked it in the middle of the shopping areas in Nelson, Richmond and Blenheim. Among other benefits of this course was my many grandmother friends learning to use the Internet and Email, so they can communicate with their children and grandchildren, many of who live overseas.

However, because there was no mechanism to measure individual progress, AND because the polytechnics received funding from the government based on the number of student enrolled, the opposition National party saw this as an example of how the Labour government was wasting money.

Our own constituent MP Nick Smith (that's like the congressman from YOUR OWN district), together with National's education spokesperson Bill English, walked in, signed up, and had pictures taken by the local newspaper to demonstrate the flaw in the system. I'm neither Labour nor National, but Nelson doesn't need the constituent MP to castigate something working well for the community for his own political stunts.

So, funding is cut starting next year, Richmond and Blenheim centres will open for shorter hours; Nelson's Community Computer Centre will close, but similar on-campus free course is hopefully in the plan. Oh, our good friend Warwick was the first and long-serving coordinator for this Centre, and he poured his heart and soul into the programme; he hasn't got a potty-mouth, but I'll refrain from "printing" his comments.

I took this photo a few days after Nick Smith was in the paper this winter and here's an article clearing NMIT of any wrongdoing.

Today is Theme Day. Other DP Blogs have also shown Something About to Disappear from their cities. Please click on the numbers below to view them.

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18 comments:

  1. ohh my God..here is only 1:00pm and in New Zealand already tomorrow:)
    Thank you for the detailed description! I think its a pity these community computer centre will close. It seems governments tend to forget they are for serving people and not for generating income like a company.

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  2. I could say I am shocked, but we are going through the same crap here. The newly elected ultra right-wing conservative party is hacking to death many social programs that THEY consider a waste of public funds. I wonder what programs they will initiate to waste public funds?

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  3. New Zealand's one of the earliest country to see the next day :-)

    What a pity that the community com cen will be closed. I just saw on the community notice boards at my area that they will be giving out refurbish PCs to families who can't afford PCs. Well that's something good. Trying to narrow the digital divide. Another thing that the govt is doing next year is to provide Free Wifi connection all over the country for 2 years. Yey!!

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  4. pity the centre is being closed down though it has been serving the community so well.

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  5. Shame, shame shame, thanks for sharing. Where's Granny going to surf the net now!?

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  6. Seems like the good stuff goes away and the unimportant takes on a new life. Sorry about the center. Good info.

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  7. Grrrr....that kind of crap makes my blood boil - and it happens all the time.

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  8. I like long stories. Shame the content isn't more cheerful

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  9. that's really the saddest CDP disappearance so far.

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  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you, friends. It is a sad time.

    Where will all the purple-haired grannies go, John? To the Internet cafes, jostling for space with the backpackers?

    Keropok Man, you are lucky to have a forward-looking government. The other thing that bothers me is that the Polytech throws away a lot of good (but old) PCs because there's too much paperwork involved in asset transfer, or some such.

    Sally, politicians! GRRRRRRR. And this guy keeps getting reelected. I don't understand it.

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  11. How do these things happen? I hope the people who use these centres VOTE! Or maybe it doesn't work that way there. Anyway, a great touching choice for today's (or yesterday's for you?) theme day.

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  12. Those grannies are full of vitalities. They are willing to lean how to use internet and especially email. Could be blog ;-) I want to be like them, leaning something new all the time.

    Re old PCs, NMIT has actually transferred quite a number of those to primary schools, non-profit organizations, and so on, ones that no one wanted went to the tip. Things are slowly improving in that area. (Guess who works there.... but not familiar with these arrangements. )

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  13. Strenght Meg :)
    Good post.

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  14. So here's another sad story. We've seen a number of them over the world through this theme... we could have tried to go for some gold old crap we don't mind seeing out, but it looks like most of us went down the nostalgic path...

    Loved your mint green and hot pink comment about my post today, I love your sense of humour !!!

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  15. What an interesting story! I get some small comfort, for some reason, in hearing that politicians in other countries beside mine do things for such self-serving, nakedly opportunistic reasons (i.e. hurting the community to hurt their opponent, if I read this story right!)

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  16. People are people, all over the world. Power and money seldom mix well, and we all get a terrible story to tell!
    -Kim

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  17. I really hope that "disappearing soon" is not the community service but that kind of politician.

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  18. Thank you for visiting, all.

    Jenny, you got it.

    It's not just the fabulous grannies, either. I've seen young mommies trying to upskill while the kids are little for their reentry into the job market. The silly stunt by the MP just burns me@#%^%$^%^

    Nathalie, what other colors can you imagine ;-)

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