A CANBERRA Liberals government will work to make Canberra’s education the best in the country, saying they’ll drive foundational learning to equip future generations with skills that can be applied across life paths and professions.
Despite Canberra families paying the most per capita on education in Australia, the Liberals say education outcomes in the ACT have steadily declined since 2001.
“The ACT now has the worst education outcomes in the country when social and economic advantage is considered,” says Liberals leader Alistair Coe.
“School infrastructure has been significantly neglected and have suffered partial closures due to hazardous substances like asbestos and lead contamination.”
If elected next month the Canberra Liberals say they’ll renew focus on foundational learning by anchoring the school curricula in English, mathematics, science and languages, they’ll free teachers from administrative burdens, they’ll deliver world class language education in every school, create 50 new full-time, dedicated teacher librarian positions for every public school, deliver a new mindfulness and meditation program across all Year 3 classes, provide more pastoral support for children with mental health and provide first aid training for teachers.
The Liberals will also pilot the Clontarf Academy in a Canberra high school to provide the education and employment outcomes of indigenous young males.
“We want Canberra’s education system to be the best in the country, with nation-leading education outcomes for students in Australia’s best learning environments,” says Liberals leader Alistair Coe.
“Under Labor the education system is increasingly a lost opportunity as academic outcomes continue to decline. At least six independent reports have revealed the alarming underperformance in Canberra’s schools. Literacy standards have been falling since 2001, and the average 15-year-old math student is one-and-half years behind where they were in 2003.”
Shadow education minister Elizabeth Lee says it’s important to help young Canberrans focus on their education.
“While a refocus on foundational learning is long overdue, it’s important that we deliver this in tandem with increased supports for students and teachers,” she says.
The Canberra Liberals have also committed to undertaking an audit of all ACT government school infrastructure, inject an additional $15 million into scheduled and unscheduled school maintenance, delivering safer school precincts with flashing lights, upgrades to drop off and pick up zones and road crossing supervisors, delivering new and expanded schools in Molonglo and Gungahlin, giving free tree vouchers to all children on their first day of kindergarten, and launching a tree planting program in all ACT government schools.