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Thursday, 11 October 1973
Page: 1934

Mr LAMB (LA TROBE, VICTORIA) - I direct my question to the Minister for Education. What is the Australian Government's involvement in the migrant education program and the catering for latch key children in Brunswick North Primary School in Melbourne and in similar projects in other parts of Australia?

Mr BEAZLEY - The Australian Government is involved through the Department of Immigration in the adult education program at the Brunswick North Primary School. It has the administrative control of the Government's education projects in relation to adult migrants. The Department of Education is involved though in a capacity of giving advice to the Department of Immigration in preparing learning and teaching materials, and it assists with teacher training. It negotiates with particular institutions involved in such a program. Both State and Commonwealth teachers are involved on an hourly employment basis. The projects are in line with the Government's policy as far as adults are concerned to encourage community involvement in education, in this case the adult migrants themselves.

On the question of the latch key children, I am not certain of any Commonwealth involvement in the Brunswick North Primary School question. The pre-schools commission will be advising the Australian Government on grants that will be applying next year Child care centres are being constructed under arrangements between the Australian Government and various authorities at the present time but I know of none either one way oi the other at North Brunswick. I will have that matter investigated. I might say that this is a project which I wish to visit myself in the near future if I can. The honourable member will be aware that as far as child migrants are concerned we are worried about the fact that the States have no classrooms for the children to be taken to and given special lessons in English, retiring from the normal classrooms. Two million dollars is appropriated towards that end in the current Budget and all-over there is the estimate that $5,250,000 will need to be spent in the next couple of years. However, that is rather a separate question. The question of migrant education is one of my major interests at the moment insofar as each is within my jurisdiction. I want to have a look at the project to which the honourable member refers and see whether there are any additional things that ought to be done by the Commonwealth.

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