Taskforce imperative for rural students
THE Federal Government must take immediate action to establish a taskforce to develop a national regional education strategy to improve the education outcomes of regional Australians.
I asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Question Time last week if he would commit to the establishment of the taskforce and strategy.
In Indi, 6.2 per cent of residents have tertiary qualifications, compared with a state average of 17.8 per cent.
The Government last week announced it would accept all 11 recommendations of the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, led by Emeritus Professor John Halsey.
In its response to the report, the government said Prof Halsey has included 53 suggested actions that would assist implementation of these recommendations.
These actions must be progressed, starting with Prof Halsey’s proposal to ‘establish a national regional, rural and remote education strategy and associated taskforce to drive greater coherence, coordination and access to high quality education and training in regional, rural and remote Australia’.
The government has acknowledged the importance of the Halsey review in driving change that will close the gap between the city and regional Australia in the level of study or qualifications achieved by students.
The strategy and taskforce are imperative to improving outcomes for regional, rural and remote students.
An annual statement as part of the budget addressing progress in educational outcomes in regional Australia is insufficient.
I look forward to continuing my discussions with the government as it implements the recommendations of the Halsey report, and confirming the importance of Prof Halsey’s findings. Cathy McGowan