A study has found that exposing children to the performing arts enhances their literacy and critical skills, as well as their social skills and empathy. Children's Voices was conducted over 2002–2005 by the University of South Australia, Windmill Performing Arts and the South Australian Department of Education and Training. See article in the Independent Weekly 15 July 2006, p47.
The Indigenous Youth Mobility Programme (IYMP) for Western Australia has been launched by the Australian Government Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop. The program is targeted at Indigenous students from remote areas. It will offer them education, training and employment opportunities in regional centres outside their communities. The program will be funded over four years for at least 600 young people. The IYMP focuses on areas such as pre-vocational training, trades and some tertiary pathways including teaching, nursing, accounting and business management, skills that are in high demand in remote areas. See Ministerial media release 24 July 2006.
In New Zealand an e-learning action plan has been launched by Education Minister, Steve Maharey. The plan sets out goals and activities to support e-learning for the next four years. It involves students trialling the use of small, hand-held computers called 'Tablets', for classwork and homework. Other initiatives funded under the plan include expanding the Virtual Learning Network, which provides video conferencing and resource sharing between schools, access to The Le@rning Federation, which provides high-quality, interactive digital content for teachers and students, and provision of remote schools with access to satellite broadband at a subsidised rate. See Ministerial media release 25 July 2006.
Karen Sewell has been appointed as Chief Executive and Secretary for Education in the New Zealand Ministry of Education. Karen Sewell is presently the Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer for the Education Review Office. See Ministry media statement 18 July 2006.
South Australian Education Minister, Jane Lomax-Smith, has announced grants of up to $5,000 for 49 government schools to fund creative ways to boost the profile of science and mathematics in classrooms. The grants program was introduced in 2004 and has so far been given to 100 State schools. See Ministerial media statement 21 July 2006.
New Zealand primary schools will have two weeks' holiday between terms one and two in 2007, with Term 1 finishing on 5 April and Term 2 beginning on 23 April. Secondary schools will also begin Term 2 on 23 April. Further consideration is being given to term dates for 2008 and beyond. See Education Minister's announcement, 30 June 2006.
The new Kaupapamaori.com website is designed to make the work of Maori researchers and academics more widely available. The site’s home pages and links are written in the Maori language in support of Maori Language Week. See Kaupapamaori.com press release, 25 July 2006 (scoop.co.nz).
Dr Peter Dawkins has been appointed as Secretary for the Department of Education and Training, Victoria. Dr Dawkins previously held the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance. See article in Education Times, 20 July 2006, p 5.
Released this week, the Our Environment Our Future – Sustainability Action Statement 2006 will increase the range of environmental initiatives in Victorian government schools. Key issues to be addressed include water shortages, climate change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation and waste minimisation. The State Government will also release a Learning to Live Sustainably Strategy and Action Plan, designed to helps schools connect learning with local community issues. See article in Education Times, 20 July 2006, p 1.
The school leaving age in Victoria will be raised to 16 when the Education and Training Reform Act comes into force at the start of 2007. The Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority (VQA), to be renamed the Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority in January next year, will set regulations for Victorian training providers and provide quality assurance for students. See article in Education Times, 20 July 2006, p 3.
Across the USA there is less time for play even for the youngest students as many schools try to teach reading, writing and arithmetic as early as possible. See report in The New York Times, 26 July 2006 (free registration required).
New South Wales Education Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, has released data showing that the State Government’s school security fence program has reduced crimes such as arson, trespass, vandalism, and breaking and entering. A study of 12 schools has found the number of security incidents was reduced from 126 to 34 after fences were installed. See media release, 27 July 2006, from the Department of Education and Training.
Data from the CensusAtSchool questionnaire is now available to teachers and students. The questionnaire, run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, involved over 2,700 schools and more than 110,000 students across
The Victorian Department of Education and Training has a new website that combines information previously located the Department site, SOFweb and the Education Channel.