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Breakthrough in achieving literacy for indigenous students



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;rffe MEDIA RELEASE

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DR DAVID KEMP, MP Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs

4 March 1999

BREAKTHROUGH IN ACHIEVING LITERACY FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS

“Achieving literacy for Australia’s Indigenous students is a realistic goal. All young Australians are equally entitled to be able to read and write in English,” said the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp.

The Minister was speaking from Adelaide while visiting the Wiltja Annex of Woodville High School where teachers have been able to achieve a 100% success rate for all Indigenous students involved in the outstandingly successful Strategic Results Project (SRP) “Scaffolding Literacy” project. _

The project has increased each Indigenous student’s outcomes by one or more South Australia profile levels in English reading and writing in less than a year. This is a considerable achievement as it usually takes the average non-Indigenous student 18 months to 2 years to advance 1 profile level.

As an indication of his support of the project, Dr Kemp announced an additional funding increase of $885,000 to extend the “Scaffolding Literacy” project a further two stages. The funding extends the programme into an extra two schools in northern South Australia and to Yipirinya, Alice Springs.

The “Scaffolding Literacy” project initially received $242,770 in 1997/98 and to date there are 110 Indigenous students involved in the project, approximately 54 of whom are involved in the “Scaffolding Literacy” project at Wiltja Annex.

“In late 1997 the Commonwealth provided funding of about $36 million to support 200 common sense and practical Strategic Results Projects, the experience and real successes of which we can see here today at Wiltja,” said Dr Kemp.

“With the Strategic Results Projects, I challenged education providers, large and small, to demonstrate that Indigenous students’ learning outcomes could be significantly improved over a short period of time. I asked for ideas that talked about success, success for Indigenous students in terms of mainstream education.

“The best practice models from the Strategic Results Projects will become the backbone of the National Indigenous Literacy Strategy that will be announced later this year. These projects are producing results that prove our aims to genuinely address the very specific educational needs of Indigenous students are being met.”

Media Contact: Samantha Herron 0412 639 754 or 02 62777 460