Cull of Aboriginal education jobs opposed by Greens


Thu, 06/02/2014

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has joined with Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers and union officials in calling on the Minister for Education to stop culling their jobs.

“Minister for Education Collier, who is also the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, is doing a disservice to both portfolios by this decision to cut more than 100 Indigenous Education Officer jobs,” Mr Chapple said.

“This decision threatens to seriously reduce the educational and employment prospects of Aboriginal students, particularly those living in the remote and rural areas of the state.

“Not satisfied with culling sharks off our coast, the Barnett government has now turned its attention to culling jobs, which will have a demoralizing and devastating effect on the most disadvantaged people in the state.

“The long-term cost to the State of this action needs to be measured against the mere $2.3 million in savings to the budget.

“Aboriginal students and their specialist teachers should not have to pay for the government’s mishandling of the budget during the past few years.

“As I said in October, when this move was first announced, the decision flies in the face of the government’s rhetoric about ‘closing the gap’ and ‘overcoming Indigenous disadvantage’.

“The 2011 Review of the program found that AIEOs played an important role in community liaison, engagement with students and assisting students who were otherwise falling behind to perform better at school.

“The report concluded that the AIEO program has significant strengths and is well worth maintaining. In fact, principals consider the presence of AIEOs in schools a crucial element in facilitating the education of Aboriginal students,” Mr Chapple said.

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