A mother is concerned about what the NSW TAFE Barrack St college's transition to the new connected learning centre (CLC) in Bega will mean for her intellectually disabled son.
"They don't tell you anything - they just say 'there's a new learning centre and were going to sell the old one' and everyone in the middle has to guess what's going on," Cheryl Robinson of Bega said.
Her son, who has delayed speech and cognition, is currently in Year 12 and attends Bega TAFE every second week to study a Certificate II Automotive, a course he "absolutely loves".
She said there was a lot of uncertainty over what would happen with the Bega TAFE's old campus after the new $7million CLC was opened earlier this year.
This new campus will have a technology focus to teaching, using augmented reality, simulations and virtual reality.
Ms Robinson said her son needed a teacher physically in the room with him to learn and he would struggle if his classes were only held over a television screen.
"He did ask me how he will get help if there's not going to be teachers there anymore and he's worried he's not going to be able to go," she said.
She also said if her son's course did not run in Bega, he would have to drive long distances to a TAFE in Cooma or Nowra.
When NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge visited the Bega Valley this week, he said members of the Bega TAFE workforce had told him they had to move classes from Barrack St to the CLC, "just to make it look like the connected learning centre was occupied".
"That's a pretty poor interference in a facility where teachers are already under the pump," he said.
"There's great facilities here [at Barrack St] but teachers have been told not to use them."
Post schools organiser for NSW Teacher's Federation Rob Long had heard similar concerns, saying federation members had been instructed, and in some cases directed, by upper management to run courses at the CLC, even if the teachers were not convinced that was the best thing for the students.
"Teachers definitely felt it would have been much more advantageous for students had the connected learning centre been built at the Barrack St college," he said.
Mr Long said other concerns teachers had regarding the transition was the loss of access for Bega TAFE study centre which gave students language, literacy and numeracy support, no adequate office space as there was one computer storage room with one small desk for all teachers and no storage space for teachers.
There was also the concern of a loss of local teaching and support jobs as the plan was for TAFE mobile learning units to deliver metal fabrication, child studies and agriculture.
In response, Minister for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said his government had been very clear about its plans for Bega TAFE, but some groups had been "waging a deliberate campaign to whip up fear and tell the community TAFE is leaving town".
“Let me be very clear. The NSW government is investing $25million to deliver Bega a brand new TAFE campus and a state-of-the-art connected learning centre, which will offer more hands-on training than ever before, and give the local community the best facilities in the state,” he said.
“Labor and their mates in the Greens should hang their heads in shame. TAFE is too important to be delegated to the status of a political football.
“If Labor or the Greens cared one bit about TAFE in the Bega electorate then they would match our funding commitments and deliver new TAFE facilities for Bega as well as a new TAFE for Batemans Bay.”
He said the NSW government will build a $17million new campus for Bega, which will be located next to the CLC and will will offer all the same hands-on training as the current Barrack St campus as well as allow Bega TAFE to offer courses that have never previously been delivered, including electrical and plumbing.
Mr Marshall said it was expected the new campus would open in 2021 and the Barrack St campus would remain operational until this time.
He said the new campus would continue to offer mechanics.