Territory Stories

Annual Report 1991 Department of Education



Annual Report 1991 Department of Education

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Tabled Paper 1288


Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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As a result of the Estimates Review process, it was decided to rationalise under-utilised facilities by closing a small number of government schools. At the end of the year, two of these were transferred to the non-go vemment sector, maintaining the educational use of the facilities. Traeger Park Primary School in Alice Springs was transferred to the Catholic education system to provide a second campus for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School, while the Essington School was to take over the premises of Rapid Creek Primary School in Darwin. In addition, a task force examined the possible privatisation of the all- Aboriginal residential establishment, Yirara College, in Alice Springs. As in previous years, about 650 Northern Territory residents were estimated to have sought primary or secondary places at interstate schools, representing an annual drain of about $7 million from the Territory's economy. With sufficient boarding places available at non-government schools in the T erritory to cater for current needs, it was decided that no new applications for financial assistance to study interstate under NT Government Student Assistance Schemes would be accepted from the end of the year. To ensure the continuing expansion of boarding places in the NT to meet future demands, increased funding of up to $2.65 million was allocated for 1991-92 to subsidise extra boarding facilities. A number of non-government schools in urban areas provided programs designed to cater for the needs of Aboriginal students from traditional or transient backgrounds and for whom English is a second or third language. Overall, Aboriginal students comprised about ten per cent of enrolments in Catholic urban schools. In Alice Springs, the Catholic High School's 'Ntyarkle Unit'with the help of five Aboriginal assistant teachersprovided special programs for between thirty and 35 children from town camps who use Arrente as their first language, Kriol/Aboriginal English as their second and English as their third. Also in Alice Springs, the Aboriginal Unit at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School catered for about 55 children, mostly Eastern Arrente speakers from town camps, with Kriol as their second language and English as their third. In particular, the unit catered for itinerant families or children with irregular and insufficient schooling. In Darwin, St John's College's Transition Units offered a program of phased entry into mainstream secondary education for thirty students, 25 of them of Aboriginal descent and from remote, culturally traditional communities. The independent Yipirinya School in Alice Springs continued to cater for Aboriginal primary and post-primary students by providing a school program emphasising students' first languages. Classes were held in each relevant Aboriginal languageEastern and Western Arrente, Luritja and Walpirias well as English. 45