Rural and Remote Education - National
National hearings and meetings
Canberra, 26 October 1999
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
- Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs
- Australian Education Union
- Isolated Children's Parents' Association (Federal)
- Australian Council of Deans of Education
- Independent Education Union
- Barbara Preston, Canberra ACT
Central to ATSIC's submission is a discussion of barriers to effective education for Indigenous students. Ill-health, discrimination and family mobility are among the issues discussed.
DETYA's extensive submission principally details named programs administered by the Department including CAP (Country Areas Programme) and IESIP (Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Programme).
The submission opens by describing the Commonwealth Government's Equity Agenda which is summarised as
To provide opportunities and choice, and assistance where necessary to overcome disadvantage, to enable people to participate to their full potential, including in education and training.
The DETYA portfolio is described. The bulk of the submission is devoted to detailing how DETYA contributes to regional and remote areas under the following headings.
- Indigenous Education
- Vocational Education and Training
- Higher Education.
The AEU represents 155,000 educators employed in public pre-schools, schools and post-school educational institutions throughout Australia. The AEU submission summarises the key points it raises as follows.
"That governments must give priority to meeting their obligations to promote human rights through the maintenance and sustenance of quality free, universal and secular public education.
"That Australia is not meeting its obligation to honour its commitments to provide for the above and that Australians in rural and remote communities are some of the most disadvantaged by Australian governments not meeting these obligations.
"That to deliver equality in educational provision to rural and remote Australians affirmative strategies and differential (higher) funding and targeted support mechanisms are required.
"That Indigenous education and remoteness are inextricably linked and dealing with remote education requires the implementation of the many recommendations aimed at improving Indigenous education.
"That Australian governments have failed to adequately sustain the physical and human resources that will ensure the provision of quality education to rural and remote Australians.
"That establishment and development of a high status teaching profession must be the cornerstone of any strategy to improve educational opportunities for students in rural and remote communities."
Appendix 3 is the AEU's submission to the Senate Employment, Education and Training References Committee Inquiry into Indigenous Education.
ICPA (Aust) is a voluntary national parent body dedicated to ensuring that all geographically isolated students have equality with their non-isolated peers of access to an appropriate education. ICPA's submission covers:
- the availability and accessibility of both primary and secondary schooling: distance education; small rural and remote schools; secondary education; boarding facilities
- the costs for families associated with education for children in rural and remote areas: distance education and school of the air costs; boarding costs; second home; tertiary education
- the quality of education access including technological support services: Country Areas Program; choice of educational opportunities; early childhood education
- preparation of teachers for rural and remote education: staffing; teacher incentives
- communications: telecommunications; postal
- whether the education available to children with disabilities, Indigenous children and children from diverse cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds complies with their human rights: learning difficulties; health issues
Telstra's submission covers two broad topics. First it provides details of Telstra's investments in access technologies to support on-line education. Second it summarises some special initiatives to support regional education.
The submission deals primarily with two issues.
- Ensuring the necessary quality and number of teachers in rural and remote schools
- Ensuring access to quality education by Indigenous people in rural and remote locations.
Also briefly mentioned are telecommunications infrastructure and appropriate indicators of disadvantage.
The IEU is the federally registered organisation which represents the industrial and professional interests of teachers and school support staff in all non government institutions across Australia. It has some 45,000 members.
The IEU's submission covers
- Costs of schooling and education funding
- The lack of specialist services for rural and remote children
- Exemptions for religious and other independent schools from anti-discrimination laws
- The difficulty of providing cultural and curriculum opportunities in the bush
- The social costs of rural and remote schooling (Section 5)
- Student retention ( Section 6)
- Professional development and other staff issues (Section 7)
- Indigenous education (Section 8)
- Technological support for teaching and learning (Section 9)
This submission is concerned with the impact of boarding school policies and practices on the provision and quality of schooling in rural and remote Australia. When students leave rural and remote areas for secondary education the quality and provision of secondary education in those regions is seriously affected.
Last updated 2 December 2001.