Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (17 June 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (17 June 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 17 June 1986 applied under previous arrangements and gave rather nebulous results. r am fully aware also, as a parent with children at school, that even the 7 to 8 week period disrupts the school, and r am sure that a better process can be worked out. Careful evaluation of our teachers is important. People who gain promotion become leaders within schools, and it needs to be a fair process. Although within a particular school the most likely candidates for promotion stand out fairly clearly, there are wider considerations that need to be taken into account. We need some moderation between one school and another. Teachers have a pretty good idea of the situation in their school, but possibly no idea of what is happening in other schools. r would suggest that a moderating group of experienced teachers be established, comprising about 3 people who are not actually engaged in classroom teaching for a specific period and can travel widely. r believe they should visit the schools at least 3 times a year. Our system is small enough for that to be quite within the realms of possibility. They should be able to meet the candidates, to observe them and to evaluate and make comparisons between schools. That would provide an element of fairness. At the school, the moderating group would work with the principal, who is obviously a key person, and senior staff, particularly subject staff in secondary schools, to help assess those who are seeking evaluation. One good point is that the teaching staff would remain within the school and that would be of advantage to the children. The moderating team would gain considerable experience and expertise in evaluating teachers. My own teaching days began in the days of inspectors. r was first inspected by someone whose subject was English. As a science man, r felt that was pretty rough but, as the years went by, r came to the conclusion that the experienced teacher, no matter what his subject, can work out whether the person being assessed has what is required in the teaching game. 10 minutes listening from outside the classroom will provide a tremendous amount of information, although that is not the point r am making. We need some' moderation between schools and we need, above all, some method by which our children's education is minimally disrupted. I am sure such a process can be found. r know that the people at the Education Advisory Conference took note of this because r mentioned it in my address to them. They were looking for ways and means of improving the process, and r wish them all the best because it is important. Our kids' education is suffering with the present process. Tonight, I also want to give a pat on the back to a voluntary group, namely the Ti Tree Progress Association. This body was galvanised into action by the former member for Stuart, our Speaker. Several years ago many good people in Ti Tree, particularly a policeman called Dennis Fields, entered the Territory Tidy Towns competition. They won category A, the category relating to communities of less than 600, and they deserved to. That led to the Ti Tree Progress Association, which has achieved a great deal. Its latest project has been the construction of an emergency airfield. The airfield is visible from the cockpit of the Ansett and TAA planes which fly on the Omega system, about 90-95 nautical miles from Alice Springs. local people constructed it using their own equipment, and it is about 6000 feet long. The locals have been involved in such menial tasks as stick-picking, with the kids from the local school lending a hand. Stick-picking is no great joy but it is an essential job when you bulldoze an airstrip out of the bush. The Department of Transport and Works was pleased to lend watering carts and rollers to compact the surface. That support is 45

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