First Nation education

Labor has committed to teaching First Nation languages in schools. 267193_08

By Jamie Salter

First Nation language and history is on the way to becoming part of the curriculum for 60 schools if Labor wins the upcoming election.

If successful, 60 extra First Nations language teachers will be sent out to 60 selected primary schools to teach local languages.

Bass MP Jordan Crugnale said she welcomed the commitment.

“Thornbury Primary School is already teaching language in the classroom and it is a great success,” Ms Crugnale said.

“We have the oldest continuous culture and peoples in the world.

“This announcement goes a long way to truth telling, healing, learning about injustices and the scars that run deep, connections and recognising that we have a shared history.”

Shadow Minister for Education Tanya Plibersek MP said the commitment will help keep First Nations languages alive and close the gap in educational attainment.

“We are lucky to live in a country that is home to the world’s oldest continuous culture, with over 60,000 years of history,” Ms Plibersek said.

“But right now, less than one per cent of Australian students are learning a First Nations language at school.”

Schools will be chosen based on need, with the $14 million plan funding full time First Nations language teachers.

“For Indigenous students, learning First Nations languages has been shown to improve self-esteem and school attendance,” Ms Plibersek said.

“For non-Indigenous students, learning First Nations languages gives them a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultures and histories of Australia’s first people.”

First Nations communities will be consulted and involved in decision making throughout the plan and schools will be able to apply to participate.