“CWA A FORCE BEHIND RURAL SCHOOLING

 

Very soon young people will be starting their new year at their schools, and colleges.

Education has been of importance since its earliest days, for the CWA.

Education prior to WWII was a luxury for many children living in the country. Parents together provided a room suitable as a school room and employed the teacher themselves. They also found accommodation for that teacher. Correspondence school had only started during WWl.

The CWA initially pushed for better roads and school bus services for country children. Few parents could finance education for their children after primary school. Hostels for secondary school children were set up many run solely by CWA. With pressure from CWA, in 1949 the Government agreed to provide school buses free of charge.

The CWA education policy was to educate children within their own communities to help arrest the population drift to the cities.

It was announced in 1948 at the centenary of national education that cookery and other aspects of home science were to be made compulsory. The CWA considered this as a step forward in education for girls.

The CWA still closely monitors that country children can have an equal educational experience to those in the cities and large towns. Scholarships are provided for secondary and tertiary students, and individual branches support a local child or children with educational grants each year, usually as the child completes Year 6. In 2018 the CWA Wollondilly Group Education Award was awarded to a student at Exeter school. In 2019 this grant will be awarded to a student at Jamberoo school.

Pat Hughes

Wollondilly Group Publicity Officer (The Highlands)