Education is a fundamental right for all people, yet the policies of successive governments has been to turn education into a privilege; with wealth as the main entry qualification. At all levels, the public education system has been systematically dismantled, while private schools enjoy billions in taxpayer subsidies. Early childhood education is increasingly out of the reach of most working people, leading to increased pressure on parents, in particular mothers, to exit the workforce.
This is in fact privatisation by stealth. From the beginning of primary school to the end of secondary school, parents are required to pay for what is ostensibly a "free education system". Public school buildings are often in disrepair, class sizes are too large, and the virtual monopoly of text book publishers leads to vastly inflated prices for essential education materials. Higher education is becoming a lottery where the winning ticket is a wad of banknotes.
Socialist Alliance will fight to restore public education at all levels, creating a universal, free, quality secular system open to all those who need and want it. This would preclude the need for taxpayer subsidies to private institutions, which would be fully funded by those who choose to provide and use them.