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Rural and Remote Education - Tasmania


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

school students.

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.

Secondary schools

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.

Retention rates

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

students go.'

Internet access

'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.'

Student Representative


'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

the organising.'

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.