Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

Other title

Parliamentary Record 3


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 game of musical education facilities that the minister has put in train. Let us be clear that staff and management want to stay put on their existing campus. They have been forced into considering this option to prevent the dismantling of adult education in the Barkly. I would like to return to the devolution of responsibilities to schools and speak of another school in my constituency - Ali Curung. This school is largely run by Aboriginal teachers and it has a non-Aboriginal principal. This is a community made up almost exclusively of Aboriginal people living a traditional lifestyle. Very few people in that community have expertise in higher education. They do not have means at their disposal to undertake devolution of responsibilities, and it is very difficult for that school to undertake those responsibilities. Mr Stone: It is not compulsory. The principal can do it. Mrs HICKEY: I take up the minister's interjection. The principal is already under considerable strain in running a school that is largely peopled by traditional Aboriginal people and Aboriginal teachers who are still finding their own feet in the education system. Mr Stone: Don't you have confidence in the ability of Aboriginal people to run their own affairs? Mrs HICKEY: I suggest that this school will find it very difficult to accept devolution of responsibilities and the principal will be put under further strain through having to adopt financial management as well as running the school and helping the Aboriginal teachers to fulfil their objectives. The teachers in this school have put it to me that they are very concerned about the devolution of responsibility within that school. They acknowledge that they have other priorities and other considerations to attend to. They are not interested in having their principal shuffled off to undertake jobs that the Department of Education should be doing. I turn now to the master teachers. This area has caused many of my constituents considerable unrest and I hope that, over the forthcoming weeks, the Minister for Education will perhaps explain a little more fully how this is to work. The Master Teachers Scheme was a good one. Its aim was to enable good classroom teachers to remain in the classroom if they so desired and to recognise their skills in that role so that they were not forced to move into administrative or other roles. We have seen the dismantling of the positions of EOs in the education system and I ask who will now undertake the role of consultation and information. For example, Borroloola Primary School relied heavily on the services of the education officer from the Tennant Creek office. Is this function now to be taken up by master teachers and, if it is ... Mr Perron: You keep telling us to cut the administrative areas and leave the teachers alone. You are saying now that we should not cut administration either. Mrs HICKEY: In response to the Chief Minister, I do not want to take the teachers out of classrooms. Parents will not thank the Minister for Education if he takes master teachers out of classrooms. However, who will undertake the important role of education officers for remote area schools, which rely heavily on help and support from a central office? At the moment, the TAFE campus is located at the Tennant Creek campus area, but we are told that it is to be redeveloped. I hope that the minister has persuasive powers with the federal Minister for Education because, from the 802