Government announces Indigenous education funding
The Federal Government will invest $659 million to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students over the coming five years.
School Education Minister, Peter Garrett, said that the funding have a three point aim, including:
- increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parental and community engagement in education;
- provide better access to education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; and
- increase school engagement and attendance, using sport and recreation as an incentive.
“This extra investment is about addressing the most difficult barrier to education that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students face – attending, and being engaged in, school,” Mr Garrett said.
The funding will be delivered through the Federal Government’s $9.8 billion National Plan for School Improvement, which aims to see Australian schools ranked in the world’s top five by 2025.
“We know the schools that achieve the best results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are those that make a commitment to work closely with parents, families and the broader community,” Mr Garrett said.
Mr Garrett said a lot of great work is already being done, but there are still too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids missing out on school, and too often families don’t know how they can work with the school.
“Student attendance rates are well below those of non-Indigenous kids, and the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 20 to 24 year olds who have a Year 12 or equivalent qualification is around half that of non-Indigenous people,” Mr Garrett said.
Statistics show that more than 30 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 cease attending school in Year 9, compared with 16 per cent of non-Indigenous students.
“Getting a great start to an education can set you up for life in the right way and our plan is to ensure every student has an education that will help them achieve the high paying jobs of the future.”