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 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.

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.

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