and Remote Education - Tasmania
Devonport secondary students
meeting, 3 November 1999 - notes
Two student meetings
were convened in Devonport: one with primary students from Miandetta Primary
School and Devonport Primary School and the other with secondary students
from Devonport High School. This is a record of the meeting with the secondary
One of the most important
issues for the secondary students at Devonport was the need for more interaction
with other schools and other students including more opportunity for travel
and interaction for social, sporting and academic purposes.
in rural and remote parts of Tasmania are divided into junior secondary
(to Year 10) and senior colleges to Year 12. Students would prefer that
the 2 forms of schooling be integrated so that could stay on at their
school to complete Years 11 and 12.
in North Tasmania
'Mostly, the reason
that kids drop out of school is lack of motivation and boredom. Some kids
live on their own and they don't have parents telling them what to do.'
'They feel that there
is no work here in Tasmania and so what is the point of staying on at
school. There is no point in going to University because there are hardly
any opportunities here. People go to the mainland to find work. I would
prefer to stay here in Tasmania but I will probably have to move because
there is no work here.'
'Some kids left school
at Year 8 and you see them around town doing nothing. Some kids who left
school now have pretty reasonable jobs, but there are many that don't.
One girl dropped out this year but she has a part time job lined up.'
'We have staircases
at our school so we don't have kids with disabilities because they can't
get up and down the stairs. We only have a few students with really mild
problems. There is a special school nearby and that is where the disabled
'We have good computer
facilities at our school. We have just got new computers at school and
they are pretty fast.'
'Most of us have
computers at home and Internet access is not too expensive. We only have
to make a local call to get Internet access. I have a brother who goes
to University so we get discount Internet rates.'
Travel and transport
'Some kids travel
on the bus and they say that for some it is an hour on the bus. Ulverston
has got a pretty bad drug problem so some kids come here from Ulverston.
These kids miss out on after-school stuff because they are always travelling.'
'There are hardly
any non-Australian students here. Everyone is pretty much the same. There
are a few German people around and we have had a few exchange students.'
'There is not too
much crime here. You can pretty much leave your door open and people won't
come in. It is pretty safe here.'
'There are many more
boys at our school than girls. There are not too many sports for girls
here. Only netball I think. There are about 10 boys to every 6 girls in
our year, but this is different to other years when there was at least
1 more girl in each year than boys. About the same number of girls go
on to Year 11 and 12.'
'We liaise between
the students and the teachers. We also arrange the school socials and
we do fund raising for the school.'
'Sometimes the teachers
will say at a morning meeting that the SRC has made a decision about something
and then later they tell us (the SRC) about it. They then tell us to do
Excursions and social
'We have tried a
few times to go on trips like taking the band to the Rock Challenge thing.
The teachers wouldn't let us do it though. They thought it was too much
hassle. We need more variety to do some interesting things then maybe
people would be more interested in school and stay on longer. We planned
to go to Launceston on the bus and come home that night. We were going
to go after school for the Rock Challenge and be back by the evening.
It makes you give up on things. All we wanted to do was to represent our
school. The teachers tend to think about the negatives and they don't
seem to concentrate on the positives.
'Once they were not
going to let us have one of our socials, but they changed their minds
after we put them under some pressure and they let us have it in the end.'
'We have got some
better than average and some worse than average teachers.'
updated 2 December 2001.