15 August 2018

Community engagement key to educational success

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Overall the education targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Children are not on track, according to the 2018 Closing the Gap report.

Neither attendance rates nor literacy and numeracy skills are on track, with school attendance rates appearing to have stagnated and have even gone backwards in the NT from 70.2 per cent in 2014 to 66.2 per cent in 2017.

Whilst the gap in literacy and numeracy skills has narrowed, only Year 9 numeracy is on track across all states and territories.

Despite the negative statistics, some schools are seeing some amazing results, and one of the key reasons for this is the schools’ relationships with the community and families.

It’s not just about teaching children in the classroom, but also getting the support from, and engaging, families, Elders and the community as a whole, and allowing them to have a say in their children’s education. When the family is engaged in their children’s education, so are the children.

Charlie (Wilbur) Klein is the principal of Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School, located over 600 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie in WA. He was earlier this year shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize award for his incredible contributions to his students and community.

Having worked in regional and remote education for the past 20 years, Klein has developed an effective leadership style in which he incorporates the whole of community. Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School now operates on a school-community agreement, which includes teaching on country and including other people’s skills and knowledge.

Klein will share the successes of his work at the upcoming National Indigenous Education Forum, held in Perth on the 22-24 August.

Other education leaders sharing their work include;

John Rangiteremauri Heremia, Principal at Te Wharekura O Rakaumanga, who will be sharing the evolution of Maori education

Lionel Bamblett, from the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association, who will share how they collaborate with community and government bodies to see systematic and sustained change

Taffi U‘ilei Wise from Kanu o ka ‘Aina Learning ‘Ohana in Hawaii who will speak about Native Hawaiian Charter School Alliance’s  education model

Ricky Grace, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Girls Academy, will speak about how to get the community involved in the school.

Visit the National Indigenous Economic Development Forum’s website for more information: https://akolade.com.au/events/2nd-national-indigenous-education-forum/

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Naomi Neilson

Recently graduated with a Bachelor in Communications with a major in Journalism and Public Relations, Naomi Neilson has jumped straight into the world of media and press with Third Sector. She is motivated and passionate to explore the industry and thrives on creating an interactive and social platform for Third Sectors unique readers.

In her free time she can be found either watching the footy or designing her next big art piece around sourcing stories and engaging with new people.

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts Naomi Neilson

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