Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dialogue is vital

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

ABORIGINAL educational disadvantage will only be addressed with the full participation of Indigenous people from the national level down to individual schools, a review has found.

The review released by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) found community consultation, evidence-based research and consistent long-term government policy is vital to improve school attendance rates.

It found First Nations people continue to be the most socioeconomically marginalised group in Australia, despite decades of policy efforts and investment by successive Commonwealth, state and territory governments.

Lead author Dr Kevin Gillan says the political process and rapid election cycle mean insufficient time is allocated to policy implementation and funding is often cut.

“Indigenous Australian children carry with them the educational and trauma debts of their parents, grandparents and communities,” he said.

Dr Gillan, who is executive director of education partnerships in the Northern Territory Education Department, argues that no single solution will remedy the “colossal problem”, but neither will policies premised on ideological views.

ACER chief executive Geoff Masters says research underpinning policy design and implementation has been consistently lacking.

“Further research into factors inhibiting Indigenous school attendance and learning, for example, is urgently required if we are to design and implement more effective policy,” Professor Masters said.

“This review also shows that fully engaging the Indigenous community is critical to the design and implementation of successful policies.” – AAP

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way.

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