Dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion boost

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Ex­tra sup­port for re­gional sec­ondary schools, in­clud­ing four in the Pil­bara, in de­liv­er­ing dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses has been an­nounced by WA Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery dur­ing a tour of Kar­ratha schools last week.

Ten re­gional WA schools, in­clud­ing Kar­ratha, Hed­land, Tom Price and New­man Se­nior High Schools, will from next year each re­ceive an in­de­pen­dent learn­ing co-or­di­na­tor to as­sist up­per-school stu­dents study­ing cour­ses through the School of Iso­lated and Dis­tance Ed­u­ca­tion, Ms Ellery said at Kar­ratha Se­nior High School last Fri­day.

Schools were cho­sen based on those with the high­est num­ber of stu­dents study­ing SIDE sub­jects over the past two years in re­gional WA.

Ms Ellery said the an­nounce­ment de­liv­ered on a La­bor Party elec­tion com­mit­ment to pro­vide ad­di­tional as­sis­tance to stu­dents at re­gional sec­ondary schools.

“We know that one of the is­sues is, for some re­gional sec­ondary schools that have high num­bers of stu­dents who are tak­ing par­tic­u­lar sub­jects through SIDE, that for those stu­dents, get­ting ad­di­tional one-on-one sup­port in the class­room is re­ally im­por­tant,” she said.

Also part of the an­nounce­ment is the in­tro­duc­tion of eight re­gional learn­ing spe­cial­ists to be based at SIDE of­fices, who will work with Year 11 and 12 stu­dents and visit schools each term to pro­vide ad­di­tional spe­cial­ist sup­port.

Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel said the ex­tra sup­port would en­cour­age more chil­dren, and in turn fam­i­lies, to re­main in the re­gion for their ed­u­ca­tion.

Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Pil­bara re­gional ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Neil Darby said SIDE of­fered re­gional stu­dents more choice in their stud­ies and it was good to see more sup­port for that in place.

“As our schools are grow­ing in the Pil­bara re­gion, es­pe­cially in Kar­ratha and Hed­land, the aim is to of­fer more course op­por­tu­ni­ties and one way of pro­gress­ing that has been through SIDE, so these ad­di­tional re­sources are go­ing to help Kar­ratha and Hed­land and the smaller high schools,” he said.

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School board chair­man John Lally wel­comed the ex­tra sup­port for SIDE stu­dents at the school.

Ms Ellery also vis­ited Bayn­ton West Pri­mary, Mil­lars Well Pri­mary, Tam­brey Pri­mary and the North Re­gional TAFE com­plex and met with the City of Kar­ratha dur­ing her tour.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery, sec­ond from left, with Kar­ratha Se­nior High school cap­tains Kirk Baker, 16, and Crys­tal Salathiel, 17, and Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel.

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