Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001

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Parliamentary Record 28


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 31 May 2001 beginning of a business in the fine arts area. The students there actually sell their wares which are in high demand. A major focus I have instigated is to work on strategies to retain teachers in remote areas. I can report teacher turnover in remote areas is significantly lower than in recent years, a positive sign for all parties. Another positive for remote area schools is the budget allocation in 2001-02 which will allow for new teaching facilities. The Jilkminggan School near Katherine will benefit from the construction of a $385 000 multi-purpose teaching area for secondary aged students. This community deserves enormous praise for its commitment to secondary education. The new facility will accommodate around 30 students. I can also report a new primary school will be built at the township of Maranungu in the Daly River region. The school will replace the Woolianna School which provides an alternative to the St Francis Xavier School. An allocation of $640 000 has been made in 2001-02 for this school. I remind members that Territory secondary school facilities are equal to if not better than anywhere else in Australia. Turning to Open Learning, this sector has been allocated $14m in the coming fiscal year which is an increase of $.5m. Members will appreciate the funding provided for Open Learning includes the Schools of the Air in Katherine and Alice Springs. The schools cater for primary school students. The Darwin based NT Open Education Centre caters for secondary students. It is worth noting the Alice Springs School of the Air will celebrate 50 years of continuous operation in June this year, a remarkable achievement. As I mentioned before, the roll out of information technology under the LATIS program will enhance the capacity of these schools to provide distance education. It will also mean more effective educational services can be provided and delivered to remote and isolated students across the Territory. The Northern Territory Open Education Centre has expanded secondary programs for indigenous students in remote schools during the past three years. The school has focused on delivering quality English literacy and numeracy programs for secondary students, particularly indigenous students, but a range of vocational educational training - that is, VET - programs are also provided. To meet the needs of developing industry, the government will build on the extensive foundation of the VET in Schools program across the NT. This commitment is designed to give more opportunities for young people to leave school with their NT Certificate of Education as well as accredited vocational training which provides a basis for future career options. It is this governments commitment to assist our youth from pre- and primary to secondary to tertiary learning and into the workforce. In recent years, there has been tremendous expansion in the VET in Schools program in the NT. Whilst the majority of this growth has been boosted by external funds, it is NT government funds that have provided the infrastructure support to sustain this growth. I can advise that from a foundation in 1997 of fewer than 500 students from 11 schools participating in 20 programs covering eight industry areas, VET in Schools in 2000 had 1300 students from 21 schools involved in 281 882 hours of delivery programs across 14 industry areas. That is fantastic growth in anyones language. Another area where this government has increased its commitment is the non-government education sector. This activity has been allocated $57.2m for the 2001-02 financial year, an increase of more than $ lm for the year. I am pleased to advise a review of capital assistance funding for the non government school sector has been completed. The policy of supporting non-govemment school sectors with capital assistance remains unchanged although the evaluation process is now targeted specifically at new student places. In the 2001-02 financial year, five projects will be sponsored. They are: St Andrews Lutheran School, two new classrooms at $210 000; St Andrews Lutheran School, a new toilet block $ 150 000; Palmerston Christian School, a manual arts complex with funding support to the tune of $450 000; St Phillips College, stage two classrooms, NT government support of $270 000; and Kormilda College, additional facilities valued at a staggering $4.5m. Capital assistance funding is focused on developing facilities in areas where there is a demonstrated need for new student places. This government recognises and reaffirms the right of parents to have quality choices in education. To this end we will work with the non-govemment sector to ensure they are part of our planning for emerging new schools in new suburbs. I can advise members that the non-govemment school population in the NT totals around 22% of the total student population. Clearly a budget allocation of $57.2m for the non-govemment sector underscores our commitment to quality education for all Territory kids. This government, unlike any other state government, provides significant support towards recurrent funding. Non-govemment schools are funded at a generous 20% of the average cost of 7781