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Labor recognises language and literacy as vital for a Knowledge Nation.



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Kim Carr - Labor Recognises Language And Literacy As Vital For A Knowledge Nation http://www.alp.org.au//media/1001/kcmskn231001.html Wednesday, 24 October 2001

ALP News Statements

Labor Recognises Language And Literacy As Vital For A Knowledge Nation Kim Carr - Parliamentary Secretary for Education

Media Statement - 23 October 2001

Promoting language and literacy skills is critical to Australia's social cohesion and its future in the international community, Labor's Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Senator Kim Carr said today.

Senator Carr welcomed the launch of the Australian Alliance for Languages in Melbourne, stressing the Australian Labor Party's commitment to a language and literacy strategy.

"The Knowledge Nation Taskforce, established by Kim Beazley, identified language teaching as a critical element in the building of a Knowledge Nation," Senator Carr said.

"Not only are language and literacy skills vital for our nation's economic and cultural future, but they are also integral to active citizenship for all Australians.

"It is of great concern that some higher education institutions are responding to the funding pressures imposed by the Howard Government, by cutting back on their language departments, especially at a time when we are talking about the importance of international engagement.

"The recent Senate Inquiry into Higher Education found that a total of 16 languages had disappeared from tertiary courses across Australia," Senator Carr said.

"One of the great strengths of a culturally diverse population such as ours should be our capacity to communicate with the world.

"The Australian Labor Party's program, centred around Knowledge Nation, will give proper recognition to the importance of language and literacy as a national strategy."

Senator Carr said that details of Labor's specific schools and universities policies will be launched within the next two weeks.