Flying School Students:DEEWR must act soon!

The stories of the Flying school are known to all. These were covered in SMH, The Australian and ABC [Four Corners] recently.

I met a couple of them today, Sunday, in my office.

We all need to know that they came to Australia to train as pilots and return to India. They were not interested in the “PR” here. They had a vision about their career but it did not go according to their plans.

We all know that Vocational Education, Training Accreditation Board [VETAB] has done an enquiry and taken some action. Dept of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR] has created some confusion by circulating a document about this school. I was sent this document by the Indian Consulate, Sydney recently. I already had this document as it was sent by a student a few days ago, telling something contradictory.

It is not our concern whether this school is registered or de-registered. VETAB and DEEWR can sort this out themselves.

VETAB has its role only up to the registration or lack of registration based on the training standards or lack of it. That is what VETAB is saying. They say that further actions have to be taken by other agencies. These are Fair trading Dept, DEEWR/ESOS and Australian courts.

I think it is not a correct view.

VETAB and DEEWR, both, have a duty of care and have a moral/legal responsibility to to help students in getting a fair treatment because,

1. students came to Australia, knowing that these agencies would look after the quality issues and standards,

2. students had an expectation of fair dealing from these agencies when they complained,

3. students had complained to VETAB/DEEWR well before they either left the school or forced out of the school.

Students complained to these agencies in 2008 but not much was done except passing the buck between these agencies. VETAB became serious only after we and students met Hon Mr Peter Primrose, Hon Ms Helen Westwood, Hon Ms Verity Firth, Minister of Education’s senior advisers and others in April/May 2009.

We ask;

1.  that VETAB/DEEWR get involved actively in the matters of these students and put sufficient pressure on this school to resolve the matter quickly.

2.  that VETAB/DEEWR encourage the school to use the services of a suitably trained mediator/conciliator to help resolve the problems.

These students are going through a very difficult time in Australia. Some of them have left Australia and others are still here.

We want the VETAB/DEEWR to know that we are willing to be the bridge between the school and the students. We deal with them regularly and know how difficult it is for them. We do however admire them for their resolve to fight against the injustice.

Injustice, they have suffered undoubtedly. We will fight along side them, no doubt because it is the right thing to do. 

They deserve a “Fair GO” from VETAB/DEEWR/ESOS/Australian media.

VETAB/DEEWR/ESOS, Please act fast!

Would the ministers in charge of these bodies [Hon Ms Verity Firth and Hon Ms Julia Gillard] please look into the plight of these students?

Dr Yadu Singh/06-09-09

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