A total of 22 schools across the Kimberley are set to take part in a groundbreaking education project that will connect students and communities across the region.
WA Education Minister Peter Collier said the program would help principals, teachers and support staff deliver targeted teaching tailored to the specific needs of local students.
“Three-year initiative will strengthen education in the Kimberley, particularly for Aboriginal children,” Mr Collier said.
“A partnership between public, independent and Catholic schools will tackle the widening gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.”
Targeted teaching will include a strong focus on phonics, and a Broome-based support unit will provide one-on-one coaching and advice for teachers and principals. Curriculum materials have been specifically developed for students in the Kimberley.
WA Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the project was an initiative of the WA State Government’s regional services reform, and was one of 10 priority actions in the Resilient Families, Strong Communities roadmap to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in regional and remote WA.
“Poor living conditions, remoteness and a lack of positive role models are among the reasons many Aboriginal children are not achieving at school,” Mr Redman said.
“Going to school regularly, and culturally appropriate teaching methods are major priorities that have come out of our engagement with remote Aboriginal communities in recent months.”
The project builds on existing WA Government initiatives including the establishment of 21 Child and Parent Centres across the State, along with 37 KindiLinks; kindergarten for three-year-old Aboriginal children.
WA Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said family was a child’s first educator and it was important parents and communities worked together with schools to create the right learning paths for their children.
“Under this project, schools will be further connected with their communities to help improve student attendance and parent support, and to extend learning programs and other initiatives beyond the classroom,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We know that education is vital and getting children learning early, involving parents and the community in education, promoting regular attendance and high-quality teaching are all important ways of ensuring future success at school.”