Learning Lessons—An independent review of Indigenous education in the Northern Territory

Learning Lessons—An independent review of Indigenous education in the Northern Territory News

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  • Author(s): Northern Territory Department of Education,
  • Published: 1999
  • Publisher: Northern Territory Department of Education

Abstract: The review was commissioned to establish • the views and educational aspirations of Indigenous parents and community members in relation to their children’s schooling, with particular reference to English literacy and numeracy • the key issues affecting educational outcomes for Indigenous children • supportable actions for educational outcome improvements. The single greatest challenge for the Northern Territory Department of Education is to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students in partnership with Indigenous people and other agencies and jurisdictions. The review established that there is • a widespread desire amongst Indigenous people for improvements in the education of their children • unequivocal evidence of deteriorating outcomes from an already unacceptably low base, linked to a range of issues, led primarily by poor attendance which has become an educational crisis • substantial evidence of long-term systemic failure to address this situation • a number of complex long-standing issues that must be addressed which have significant resource implications for the Department of Education and the Northern Territory Government • evidence of failure to access significant available Commonwealth funds to address poor outcomes with intensive projects • a need for the Indigenous Education Council Northern Territory to be completely restructured • a need for management systems in the Department of Education to be organised to ensure that Indigenous education is a critical core business of the department • a strong imperative for an outcomes-based approach to Indigenous education at all levels • Northern Territory Government responsibility for turning around the poor educational outcomes jointly shared by many departments, in particular Territory Health Services, Territory Housing, Local Government, PAWA and the Office of Aboriginal Development, making a whole-of-government response all the more essential • a need to establish partnerships between Indigenous parents, communities, and peak bodies, the service providers and both the NT and Commonwealth Governments, to honestly acknowledge the gravity and causes of declining outcomes, its destructiveness to future Indigenous aspirations, and to assume the joint responsibility of immediately reversing the downward trend.

Notes: ISBN 0 7245 3449 0

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