EDUCATION IS GETTING HAZY

Education these days overly focuses on accountability and discounts the importance of teaching and learning Box ticking and accreditation are largely about foolish accountability requirements. The focus on structure and not function (the teaching and development of the child/children) is distorting education.

The principle of schools being for children has largely been forgotten.

EDUCATIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

Education these days overly focuses on accountability and discounts the importance of teaching and learning Box ticking and accreditation are largely about foolish accountability requirements. The focus on structure and not function (the teaching and development of the child/children) is distorting education.
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The Education Engagement Strategy, when translated into outcomes and recommendations, will ONLY work if students attend school every day. Sporadic school attendance and truancy are chronic issues and have been for decades in some sections of the community. Action, not talk, is the only way forward and that action has to include regular school attendance.
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Free dental services for school students (NT News 20/9) are not ‘new’. This Dental support services used to be available to all urban schools, with most having their own dedicated dental clinics. Clinics were operated by staff on a rotational basis. The program extended to include dental health staff visiting towns and many remote communities for preventative and corrective dental care. These programs operated during the 1970’s and 80’s but for various reasons, were let go during the 1990’s. Any reinstatement will benefit students; dental health should always be prioritised for school aged children.

Revisiting Educational Points to Ponder

EDUCATIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

The ICAC report and recommendations on the Milingimbi School funding situation and monetary use, raise two very important points. Firstly, school principals and finance managers have to be scrupulously circumspect in the way priorities are established for the use of funds. Secondly, the Department of Education audit processes must involve an examination of school accounts and not be about rubber stamping without checking. A situation like Milingimbi reflects badly on the budgetary management of all schools and that is not fair.

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The decision by the Charles Darwin University Board to reinstate the Diploma of Nursing is very good news. Hopefully the revamped program will have a strong focus on practical skills including bedside manner and relationships with patients. Too often, modern training has a clinical focus but not one that includes the way nurses interact with those being treated.

Educators and those who place a high level of emphasis and importance on NAPLAN tests (NT News 25/8) will be delighted at the upturn in NT competencies confirmed by the May 2021 results. This is great news and helps confirm the benefits of ongoing face to face teaching in our schools. Opportunities for many students in other states have been hindered by school closures and forced online learning.

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PRIORITISING TEACHING – WHAT COUNTS

PRIORITISING TEACHING

Get some good teachers and listen to what the good teachers say and do what the good teachers advise. Teach children the methodology behind learning. Tell them and show them. Train the students. Teacher students to have exploring minds and to be independent.

Focus on system and routines in the first instance.

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Box ticking and accreditation are largely about foolish accountability requirements. It is about systems (structure) and not function (the teaching and development of the child/children).

To

Much of the accreditation is pure garbage.

Marg Rogers Lecturer, Early Childhood Education at the University of New England wrote. “We have so many educators who want to do their job but are dealing with the systems/structure … It would be great to have the function at the forefront of the educator’s mind so they can fully engage with children every day.” The Conversation 22/9/21

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Action, not talk, needed.

The Education Engagement Strategy, when translated into outcomes and recommendations, will ONLY work if students attend school every day. Sporadic school attendance and truancy are chronic issues and have been for decades in some sections of the community. Action, not talk, is the only way forward and that action has to include regular school attendance.

Text of letter to ‘The Australian’about Euthanasia

Education and change needed

The Northern Territory Voluntary Euthanasia Bill of 1996 was one of the most enlightened and visionary pieces of legislation ever passed by our Assembly. It’s overturning in the Federal Parliament by the Kevin Andrews/Tony Burke bill the following year was both callous and cruelly indifferent. For the federal parliament to pass this bill of recission was a denial of Territory rights.

Over time a significant number of people with terminal illnesses have been robbed of natural justice. Many have been forced to endure untoward suffering in their final weeks and months of life.

This denial of a legislative right in the NT continues, notwithstanding that Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and now Queensland have moved in the direction of their own state legislation that embraces euthanasia. Moves are afoot for legislation allowing euthanasia to be introduced into the NSW Parliament.

It is to be hoped that Senator Sam McMahon’s initiative, being prepared for debate in federal parliament to allow the Territory to re-engage on the issue, is successful. If that came to pass, my hope would be that a bill encompassing euthanasia could be re-introduced into the Northern Territory assembly. That would reinstate an entitlement to debate legislation savagely stripped away by Canberra 24 years ago.

Sincerely

Henry Gray (75 years)

Formal Speech Thought

SPEAK TO BE REMEMBERED

Those most remembered as speakers are those who galvanise their audiences and engage with them. Don’t over talk. Twenty five minutes is tops. Engage the audience, involve them.

Always speak with conviction and sincerity. The audience can sense passion and speaker belief in his or her message by studying the presenter’s body language. Introduce, develop and conclude carefully.

I BELIEVE THE EYES TO BE THE MOST POWERFUL OF COMMUNICATIONS TOOLS. Speakers who are confident rove the audience, with his/her eyes canvassing the eyes of everyone in the listening group.

NON COVID COMPLIANCE ADDS TO NSW/VIC WOES

The unwillingness of a growing number of people in our two major states to comply with government limitations imposed because of Covid, is adding to the burdens of both states.

Deliberate disobedience and defiance of government orders about unlawful assembly is adding to the issue of Covid spread. Large groups congregating for unlawful assembly, without masks, without socially distancing and without caring for other than contravening requirements are doing the wrong thing.

It may be no coincidence that the two states with the worst Covid records, are the two states with the greatest number of people who are doing the wrong thing against requirements and limitations that have been put into place.

EDUCATIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

Without doubt teachers in remote areas of the NT are feeling the pangs of isolation from family and friends imposed by Covid 19 restrictions. What impact must isolation have had on remote area teachers in past times. No phones, no internet connection, no live radio and TV, no email, sporadic delivery of supplies, irregular letters and parcels mail, little if any other than tinned food, few roads, limited plane services to unsealed airstrips, rudimentary medical care and no awareness of the world beyond community boundaries. That WAS isolation.

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The reluctance amongst Indigenous Australians to be immunised against Covid 19, is being fuelled by misrepresentation about vaccine side effects. These outright lies being peddled through social media and in some cases by personal misrepresentation are nothing short of criminal. Indigenous Covid deaths arising because vaccination has been rejected, should be held as manslaughter against those guilty of peddling this false information.

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Marty Aust’s periodic columns on the redemptive way forward for young people canvas the subject in detail – with one area of omission. Mr Aust (and the reports to which he refers in his column (Sun. Terr. 4/9)) never touches on the issue of parental responsibility for their children who become the subject of reports and commentary because of their aberrant and wayward behaviour. Why is it that on this subject, Mr Aust and others avoid mentioning and advocating the responsibility of parents in the bringing up of their children.

Revisiting Ed. Points to Ponder

EDUCATIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

The Sunday Territorian (20/6) and the NT News (21/6) carried timely stories warning of the deleterious impact of addiction on young people overusing iPads, iPhones and devices. In this context it makes no sense that the NT Department of Education has no policy limiting the access of primary and secondary students to iPhones during school hours. The department urgently needs to follow the example of those stares which have placed bans on school day usage.

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Katherine and it’s nearby region are flourishing agricultural, horticultural and industrial hubs. I am constantly amazed that school excursions are limited to tourist attractions. Visits should include visits to farms and businesses. Young people have little awareness about the substance upon which the town and its hinterland are based. They leave knowing little about the ‘real’ Katherine.

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A few short years ago the Charles Darwin University was in debt for many millions of dollars. The solution was to curtail TAFE/vet courses and to cut back on staff in those areas. Now, in 2021, the university has a surplus of over $22 million. So the university is going to reinstate TAFE/Vet courses and will obviously rehire staff to run those programs. Help me, help me! I do not understand.