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Students in the Northern Territory community of Gunbalanya have headed back to school today – twenty days earlier than the rest of the Territory.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, was in Gunbalanya today and joined the local Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) team on their first morning school run for the year.
“Education is critical to the lives of all Australians, no matter where they live, which is why I am so committed to ensuring all remote children, right across the Territory and across the nation, have access to a quality education.
“Despite education being a state and territory responsibility, the Federal Coalition Government established the RSAS programme in frustration at the declining rates of school attendance.
“Education is the key to overcoming so many of the challenges and unlocking so many of the opportunities in our regional and remote communities.
“The Gumbalanya RSAS team does a wonderful job encouraging kids to go to school and stay in school every day and I have no doubt that the team is making a real difference to the lives and futures of the children.
“By the end of 2017, the Gunbalanya RSAS team supported a 13 per cent increase in school attendance over the past 12 months demonstrating the success of our Government’s commitment to working in partnership with Indigenous communities.
Minister Scullion said the success of RSAS was a testament not only to the local RSAS team but also for parents and broader Gunbalanya community.
RSAS operates in 78 schools in 74 communities and supports 14,500 remote students get to school everyday.