How can Australia boost education in rural areas?
When it comes to educating students in the rural areas of Australia, there are some major barriers that create challenges. Many students assist on family farms and the remote location can make it difficult to provide the required resources.
However, new solutions are being put forward to minimise these obstacles, providing new prospects for education employment in rural areas.
IPCA rallies for investment in rural education
In November, the Isolated Children's Parents' Association (ICPA) made the trip to Canberra to discuss strategies to help address disparity between urban and rural education. Their suggestions for improvements included introducing a Distance Education Teaching Allowance, extending early childhood programmes and increasing the AIC boarding allowance.
Students in remote areas will receive an extra 50GB per month.
Another key issue the group raised was access to the internet. ICPA president stated that remote students have long suffered from having slow and unreliable access. In light of these meetings, the nbn have committed to increasing data through network optimisation.
Executive General Manager of Fixed Wireless and Satellite Products Gavin Williams explained the strategy for rural communities.
"We have worked hard to deliver vastly improved speeds and data allowances compared to services over the interim service, while ensuring we maintain a good quality experience for all satellite users," he said.
Students in remote areas will receive an extra 50GB per month to help them access key educational resources to support their learning.
Country students show outstanding results for SACE
In this year's South Australian Certificate of Education results, rural students achieved a record number of qualifications, with 3819 attaining the certificate. This represents a 116 increase from the previous year.
As Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close explained, this group remains a key area of focus for the state.
"When it comes to completing the SACE, closing the gap among indigenous students is one of our priorities and, while there is more to do, it is heartening to see a record number rising to the challenge, with the support of their communities," she stated.
Ms Close also highlighted the important work of education professionals in helping these group of students achieve the qualifications. Nine children out of 28 that received a special Governor of South Australia Commendation came from rural areas, leading the way in a variety of different fields and disciplines.