Minister for School Education Peter Garrett hosted a discussion on Asian literacy with business leaders, focusing on how Government and business can work together to increase awareness of Asian culture and the study of Asian languages in Australian schools.


Mr Garrett also announced $4.6 million in Gillard Government funding for a further four years of core funding for the Asia Education Foundation, which aims to equip young Australians with knowledge, skills and understandings of the countries and cultures of Asia.


“Australia’s engagement with Asia is crucial to our nation’s future, which is why we must ensure Australian school students are well informed about Asian culture and are encouraged to study Asian languages,” Mr Garrett said.


“Asian countries are developing at a rapid rate and the global financial focus is turning to the Asian region. Building relationships with our Asian neighbours has never been more critical for Australia’s future prosperity.


“Studies of Asian histories, cultures, languages, social perspectives and politics have specifically been embedded across learning areas in the Australian Curriculum, which is now being rolled out across the country,” Mr Garrett said.


The Gillard Government has commissioned a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century to consider the likely economic and strategic changes in the region and set out a strategic framework to guide Australia’s navigation of this Century.