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Canberra Today 6°/9° | Saturday, October 23, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Libs press for independent review of ACT education

Inside a Canberra classroom.

THERE are mounting calls to amend shortfalls in the classroom and demands that  the ACT government support an “independent” and “comprehensive” review of education. 

It comes after the Canberra Liberals released its own strategy last week that takes a more holistic approach to education after criticising the government of smoothing over the cracks with a “bunch of small reviews”.

Issues have ranged from misleading NAPLAN results and teaching methods to overcrowding from poor maintenance and toxic materials found inside classrooms.

The opposition will move a motion in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday (June 23) to highlight a number of areas that are “failing school children” in the nation’s capital.

“It is clear on the back of the evidence provided in the Canberra Liberals strategy, there are problems within the education system that must be assessed by an independent review,” Opposition spokesperson for Education Jeremy Hanson said.

“This would allow someone totally independent to come in and look at the areas that are failing and to draw on the lessons of other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas.

“What we have seen to this point in the ACT is a bunch of small reviews being done and inquiries in the assembly based on problems that emerge.

“You can’t just look at literacy and numeracy in isolation.

“As outlined in the (Canberra Liberals’) strategy, there are interconnected issues like school governance, facilities and the curriculum that all need to be looked at as a system.”

The ‘Bringing out the best in every child’ strategy identifies five key areas that is of concern to the ACT opposition: academic standards, equity, bullying and violence, school funding, and overcrowded schools with ageing infrastructure.

But Mr Hanson said a number of sources have corroborated proof that education standards have dropped, ensuring that the Labor-Greens government cannot deny a full review.

“The evidence is clear, and this is not the Canberra Liberals asserting these issues, it is the Auditor General, the ANU, Grattan Institute, the Australian Institute and other experts,” Mr Hanson said.

“There is a problem with the system and that is why we want to have this review, to get someone in and have a look at the school system and understand why it is that we are falling behind.”

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Andrew Mathieson

Andrew Mathieson

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