EDUCATIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

There is a lot more negative and unruly behaviour in our schools, including threats to teachers by students and parents, then ever comes to light. There is also a greater feeling of insecurity felt by remote area teachers and principals than is ever publicly revealed. Teachers and many school leaders are tolerant, long suffering and forgiving of those who threaten and in some cases inflict them with injury. What is reported on these issues is the tip of the iceberg.

To suggest that preschool for three year old children is a ‘trial program’ (NT News 11/8) is a somewhat misplaced statement by NT education authorities. Preschool for three year old children was in place in many indigenous communities as far back as the 1970’s. The 2021 programs may be extensions but they are hardly trials.

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“Teachers living in fear” (NT News 10/8) at Umbakumba in 2021 is due in no small way to the non application of key policies on working and living in remote communities developed and endorsed by the NT Government 40 years ago. Titled ‘The East Arnhem Document’ this policy offered a recipe for harmony between education staff and residents within communities. Like so many policies it was not actioned, so problems addressed continue to be manifest.

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