Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017

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Parliamentary Record 5


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 1623 to 1686


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 Tuesday 9 May 2017 1661 Ms LAWLER: It was one of my first jobs as Minister for Education to open the Henbury School building. The previous minister, Peter Chandler, was in the audience. I was pleased to acknowledge his support in making sure that school was built. I have also been to the Larapinta Child and Family Centre and the new preschool at Braitling. It is important we acknowledge the investments of the previous government in school infrastructure. Some of our schools are ageing. Darwin High School, built in 1963, is older than a lot of people in this House. It is good to see we are spending money to upgrade the Darwin High School facilities. As the Members for Brennan and Stuart said in their contributions, school buildings are nothing without the hard-working and dedicated educators who work in them, which is so true. We need school buildings that support teachers to deliver a contemporary curriculum. Our government is delivering a school curriculum that prepares students for the future, including coding training, enterprise education and upskilling the digital literacy of teachers. The Member for Casuarina, also the Minister for Corporate and Information Services, spoke about the importance of our ICT infrastructure and how important it is to support this agenda. The Chief Minister, also the Minister for Northern Australia and the Minister for Trade, Business and Innovation, spoke of the need for the Territory to claim its place in the Asian century. Our curriculum commitments will support this, and we are continuing our strong focus on ensuring students are equipped to succeed in our region and globally. The Member for Blain spoke about the importance of the language curriculum in Indonesia. He will be interested to know that Indonesian, Japanese or Mandarin is being taught in 40 schools across all year levels in NT Government schools. In addition, hundreds of students are also supported to learn a language through the language centres in Darwin and Alice Springs. A range of languages are being delivered in the language centres. We are taking advantage of our place in the region, including welcoming more international students to study in our schools and formalising our sister school relationships with schools in China and Timor-Leste. Recently some of our principals and our chief executive made a visit to China to firm up our sister school relationships. Those of you who have been involved in education for a while will know about the Beat Festival in Darwin in late August. This year some Chinese students are coming over to participate in the Beat Festival, which will be amazing. I was at Wagaman Primary School with the Member for Sanderson about two weeks ago to Skype one of its sister schools in Timor-Leste. There is a lovely relationship between Wagaman and Timor-Leste. It has been formalised by the Education department providing a satellite dish in Timor-Leste. The school did not have the funds or infrastructure to have a satellite dish, so it is fortunate that the Education department has been able to provide that resource for the school. In formalising sister school relationships the ultimate goal is to give children in our schools a thorough understanding of a multicultural society and of our close neighbours. As the Member for Stuart said, if we expect our community to do the best we need to give it the best. If we can produce better outcomes in the bush we will achieve better social outcomes across the Territory, and there will be a flow-on effect to economic outcomes. A good education opens up a lifetime of opportunity and has the power to break the cycle of disadvantage and lift individuals, families and communities out of poverty. This government has a comprehensive plan for education, backed up with $124m in additional funding over four years. We are investing in what the evidence shows will make the biggest difference. We are investing to make sure that one year of school equals at least one year of progress for every Territory student every year. It is a pleasure to deliver my statement and to hear everybody in this House speak on education. It is wonderful to set down our pathway and direction for education early in this term of government. Everyone who works in education is committed every day to achieving our goal of one years progress for every Territory student every year. As the Minister for Education, I am committed to making a difference for every Territory child. Motion agreed to; statement noted.