Saturday, 3 May 2008

Union urges PM to act on Stolen Generations promise

The Australian Education Union (AEU) wants the Federal Government to follow Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations with a significant funding boost for Indigenous education in the Northern Territory.

AEU president Angelo Gavrielatos says despite the intentions of the Federal and Territory governments to improve the standards, funding is still inadequate.

"Kevin Rudd's sentiment in terms of what he decides for Indigenous students and all students is correct," he said.

"The sentiment expressed by the Northern Territory Government in terms of Indigenous educational outcomes is also correct but it falls in the absence of adequate resourcing and adequate funding."

In his apology to Indigenous Stolen Generations, Mr Rudd resolved over the next five years to have every Indigenous 4-year-old child attending an early childhood facility.

The AEU argues this will not happen under current funding.

"It's now time to give substance to the education revolution and it's also time to give substance to what needs to happen beyond the national apology - it's time for the Rudd Government to invest dramatically in education and invest dramatically in Indigenous education," Mr Gavrielatos said.

The AEU will meet in Darwin today to reiterate its call for $1.7 billion to be invested in the Territory over the next five years to improve the poor education standards of Aboriginal children.

Mr Gavrielatos says the Commonwealth must significantly increase funding for an extra 14,000 teachers.

"It requires a dramatic investment in teachers and it requires a dramatic investment in infrastructure,'' he said.

NT Eduction Minister Marion Scrymgour says there has been an increase in funding from the Territory Government.

"None of it's easy - if we found an easy solution for this many years ago it would have been implemented,'' she said.

The AEU estimates 7,500 Indigenous children in the Territory are not getting an education.


Union calls for $2.9b to fund education shortfall
The Education Union is calling on the Federal Government to provide an extra $2.9 billion in funding for public schools

Govt, union defend remote community schooling
The Centre for Independent Studies says Aboriginal students in the Northern Territory are finishing school with the numeracy and literacy skills of five-year-olds.

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