Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap Report Fails to Address Effective Education

The Australian Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Abbott MP today  released the "Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report
" on improving the living standards of indigenous Australians. The targets included in the report are not particularity ambitious. Two related to education are: "Halve the gap for Indigenous/ children in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade (by 2018)" and "Halve the gap for Indigenous people aged 20–24 in Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates (by 2020)". In methods to improve education, the Prime Minister did not mention the use of the Internet, computers or distance education. It appears the only measure the PM is proposing is to punish students and their parents for non-attendance at school. Recently the NT Department of Education released a " Draft Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory " by Bruce Wilson (6 February 2014), which  proposed not providing instruction to indigenous students in their own languages and to move students into boarding schools away from their communities. It is disappointing that at the same time a global revolution in education is taking place to provide more self directed learning, relivant to the student, where and when they want it, the Australian and Northern Territory governments appear to be planning to move education for indigenous students back to the nineteenth century.

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