Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Indigenous boarding schools 'tragedy'

An Indigenous research fellow at Sydney University says the Federal Government's commitment of almost $12 million to upgrade Indigenous boarding schools is a tragedy.

Vicki Grieves from the Department of Anthropology says governments keep looking for a quick fix when it comes to Aboriginal affairs and tend to adopt a one size fits all approach to Indigenous people.

Ms Grieves says boarding school is not a viable option for remote Indigenous education in central Australia.

She says a more culturally appropriate curriculum is needed.

"How is it that you can shift this Western curriculum into Aboriginal communities and expect it to work?" she said.

"Children need to be able to build on what they already know.

"If you've got an assumption that children are going to know the same kinds of things as kids in suburban Sydney or Melbourne then you're not going to be successful as a teacher."

She says there needs to be a lot more research into remote Indigenous education to develop a more culturally appropriate curriculum.

"If you go there and you find out where they're actually coming from, [if you] actually incorporate their language and Aboriginal English into the classroom, incorporate what they think is important," she said.

"People are now using, for example, the very complicated kinship systems in communities to teach mathematics. How come people haven't thought of this before?"


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.

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.

Aboriginal inmates '22pc and rising' of prison population
The Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health says new research is urgently needed to address the worsening rate of Indigenous incarceration.

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