Feb 18, 2009

Aboriginals in Australia: Ensuring Aboriginal Children Enrolled at School

Active ImageAn enormous amount still to do to ensure Aboriginal children are enrolled in ‘decent’ schools
Below is an article published by : The Sydney Morning Herald

Enrolling every Australian child in school by next year [2010] is an enormous task, the federal government says.

Prominent indigenous leader Mick Dodson has declared he will use his increased profile as Australian of the Year to focus on education.

He used a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday [17 February 2009] to say he wanted every Australian child ready for the start of the 2010 school year by Australia Day next year.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says that will be a big task.

"There's an enormous amount to do to make sure that all children are enrolled to go to school," she told ABC Radio on Wednesday morning [18 February 2009].

The government had already budgeted for an extra 200 teachers in remote indigenous communities, she said.

There would also be a focus on teachers, principals and suitable accommodation in remote indigenous areas.

Professor Dodson said indigenous children needed schools to go to, "with chairs and tables and blackboards and computers".

They also needed competent and determined teachers, he said.

"Mick Dodson is dead right," Ms Macklin said.

"You need the teachers, you need the good principals in these very tough areas," she said, adding there was a need for decent classrooms in many places.

"We are determined to press forward on this."