Chinese language boost in South Australia
South Australian schools teaching Chinese will be able to draw on the expertise of the University of Adelaide’s Confucius Institute through a new agreement announced by State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith. The Confucius Institute brings Chinese language teachers and cultural experts to Adelaide to work with schools and teachers across the Government, independent and Catholic education sectors. The Institute also runs courses to update Chinese language teachers on the latest information and techniques designed to keep students involved in their learning. See State Government media statement 16 March 2009.
Victoria’s public schools raise nearly $1 million for bushfire victims
Victoria’s Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, has thanked Government school communities for raising nearly $1 million to help Victorians in need in the wake of the recent bushfires. See Minister's media release 20 March 2009.
Hundreds of new places in NSW selective schools
New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, has announced that 630 additional places will be provided next year at 14 new partially selective high schools in Western Sydney and regional NSW. The extra places will bring the total number State-wide to 4152. There are now 17 fully and 23 partially selective schools in NSW, in addition to places available at specialist schools that focus on subjects like the performing arts, sport, agriculture and technology. See Minister's media statement 18 March 2009.
Increased public school enrolments in Sydney
New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, has announced February 2009 enrolment figures for the State’s public schools. Primary school enrolments have risen in Northern Sydney and Western Sydney. High school enrolments have increased in all four metropolitan Sydney regions. Rural enrolments have dropped slightly under the impact of factors like demographic changes and drought. A survey of new students enrolling in Government schools shows 5174 students have moved from interstate, 2748 from overseas and 3996 from non-Government schools. See Minister's media release 17 March 2009.
McDonald's funds maths program
The McDonald's restaurant chain is funding the free provision of the Maths Online tutoring program to individuals, classes or entire schools across all three sectors nationwide for Years 7-12. When students open the program on their computers, they will see the McDonald's logo and a sponsorship announcement. The sponsorship has been supported by Education Minister Julia Gillard and the Australian Secondary Principals' Association. See article in the Daily Telegraph 20 March 2009.
Academic calls for more guidance for children about sexualised content in popular media
Professor Catherine Lumby has called for primary students to receive guidance on how to understand and respond to the increasingly sexualised content found in the popular media and culture directed towards children. See report and video clip on Channel 9's Today program.
Allow poor schools to pay exceptional teachers more, says SA report
Schools in disadvantaged areas should have greater scope within their budgets to offer higher pay to exceptional teachers, according to South Australia's Economic Development Board. See article in The Advertiser (Adelaide Now) 19 March 2009.
Concerns in Queensland over national testing
An article in the Courier-Mail 18 March 2009 describes concerns expressed by the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) and the English Teachers Association of Queensland (ETAQ) about the educational impact of national literacy and numeracy tests.