Education Minister Grace Grace has used a trip to Mornington Island to map out the next steps to improving early childhood and schooling outcomes for Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Ms Grace launched the Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan during a visit to Mornington Island State School.on Wednesday.
"Mornington Island is a fitting place to launch the plan as 97% of students here identify as a First Nations person," Ms Grace said.
"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring we deliver a quality education and provide a great start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
"This plan is a significant step in the right direction and implementation is well underway."
The plan's initiatives are across five priority areas: Making a great start; Reaching learning potential; Equipped for the future; Building capability; and Engaging partners.
The plan aims to:
- improve kindergarten participation
- lift school education outcomes
- develop culturally appropriate teaching and learning resources
- provide professional development opportunities for staff.
Ms Grace said the action plan was informed by state-wide consultations, and conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other key stakeholders.
"Consultation involved targeted sessions with early childhood, schooling and training stakeholders, regional forums across Queensland, discussions with the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training Advisory Committee, and an online submission process," she said.
This plan will target resources to lift the reading and numeracy outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students in the early years (Prep to Year 3) and also includes initiatives that promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence and achievement in STEM.
Ms Grace said that in 2018, 98.1 per cent of the 2095 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who completed Year 12 achieved either a Queensland Certificate of Education or a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement.
"The gap in certification between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students in Queensland state schools was 0.3 per cent, down from 29.2 percentage points in 2008," she said.
"This year's NAPLAN test also showed an increase in the proportion of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students achieving National Minimum Standard or above. From 2018 to 2019, this included improvement in writing for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, in reading in Years 3, 7 and 9 and in spelling in Years 3, 7 and 9."
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