Education is the key

29 Oct 2007

This report highlights the significant levels of under-resourcing of the Northern Territory Education system and the impacts that this has on the ability of Indigenous people to access high quality public education.

Education is the Key calculates as many as 7500 Indigenous children are missing out on preschool or school, and up to 5000 potential students under the age of 18 in remote areas have no access to secondary or vocational education services.

Further to this, the report explores the impacts of the Howard Government's recent intervention in to Northern Territory Aboriginal communities on schools and teachers, determining that:

* There is the potential of increased teacher resignations on top of already high turnover rates as a result of the additional pressures created by the federal intervention; and

* There are significant problems with current funding systems that are based on school attendance rather than enrolments, resulting in a lack of teachers, desks or other facilities when children come to school.

To ensure a high quality education for all students the report recommends at least 1360 extra teachers are needed, along with up to 585 additional school staff, including bilingual Indigenous Assistant teachers, costing around $264 million per annum. It also recommends up to $440 million for one-off infrastructure costs including new buildings.

The AEU will continue to build the case for adequate and appropriate resources for all public schools.

The AEU believes that Indigenous students have the right to access high quality public education in their home communities, like all other Australian children.

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