Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 2 October 1990 governments conduct a joi nt invest i gat ion. Thus, except for one, all the recommendations on that page relate to reviews and consultation. I thought I might have been a bit hard and therefore I flipped over to the end of the document. Recommendation 8.2 suggests that. 'further investigations be made'. Recommendation 8.1 suggests that 'efforts be made to i dent ify' . By 7.2, it is further recommended that the Commonwealth government 'recognise the significance of Community Education Plans'. No community education plans currently exist. They are recommended in this in the same way as they were recommended in Towards the 90s. There is nothing new in that. That is old departmental policy. By 7.1, consultation is to occur. Recommendation 6 refers to 'a review of the educational need~ and difficulties' It is called 'Talking is Not Enough' yet it is full of 'review this', 'consult that', 'discuss this', 'meet with that' etc. It is convicted out of its own mouth. I really thought the honourable minister would come up with something. I have told him what he has to do in this regard. There are fundamental things that have to be put in place for Aboriginal education. They are all in the Parliamentary Record and I will not rehash them now. Aboriginal teachers in Aboriginal schools is a fundamental key. It is absolutely essential that we move rapidly to incr.ease the number of Aboriginal teachers. We must set goals to achieve this. We have stated that it will be an ALP priority within the first term of a Lapor government to move substantially down this road. It may take 2 terms at th.e most. By then, the majority of Aboriginal children would undertake the greater part of their school life under Aboriginal teachers. Mr Harri s: We have to get to that poi nt. That is the whole emphas i s in this document. Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, the mi ni ster seems to be sayi ng that it is a chicken-and-egg situation and that it is impossible because he cannot reach the poi nt where he has the Abori gi na 1 teachers. That cyc 1 e has to be broken, but th is is not the way to break it. The Abori gi na 1 teachers have to be put in place. I know the minister went to Santa Teresa recently and that he knows of the 1 arge numbers of people there who are taki ng up the challenge of training as Aboriginal teachers. He knows .that the same thing is happeni ng at Ali Curung. The peop 1 e and the opportuni ty are there. It is not good enough to say that they do not have sufficient qualifications to undergo teacher training and therefore we have to start with the 3-year-olds and that, in 15 or 16 years time, we can bring them into the teacher education program. That is simply not acceptable. We must get the RATE programs fully operational and provide the teachers. Only then will we have a situation where the Aboriginal children will have role models they can follow which will provide them with incentives to continue their schooling and go on to higher education. That can be done in a couple of years. Mr Harris: You have not read it, Brian. Mr EDE: In addition, we need to ensure that the existing teachers have adequate incentives to remain there over the period. Each time that I have asked questions about when the incentives package will be announced, the minister has told me to wait for this report. There is nothing here. Mr Harris: You are joking! Have a look at the very point you read out about the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has a responsibility too. 10 674
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