Today marks Indigenous Literacy Day, an opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and languages and instill an enduring love of reading.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said that Indigenous Literacy Day was also an important time to focus on improving literacy outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“We are committed to improving education outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, because we know that it unlocks lifelong opportunities,” Minister Scullion said.
“Strong literacy skills enable young people to thrive at school and in life. Most importantly, literacy skills are critical to entering the workforce.
Since 2013, the Coalition Government has invested $22 million to deliver the Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Program to encourage better teaching practice and improve literacy results using Direct Instruction methods.
“We can’t close the literacy gap if kids aren’t going to school – that’s why this Government is clearly focused on school attendance, particularly in remote communities.
“Recognising the importance of regular school attendance, the Coalition Government has invested $127.8 million since 2014 in the Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS). RSAS operates in 78 schools; supporting approximately 14,500 students and making a real difference on the ground in remote communities.
“This Strategy represents an unprecedented focus on school attendance among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and is increasing our understanding of the barriers to attendance in remote areas.
“Through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, we are supporting the Literacy for Life Foundation to deliver an adult literacy program in Brewarrina and Walgett, featured in the recently aired documentary entitled ‘In My Own Words’. This program helps parents to work with their children to improve reading and writing.
“We’re also exploring innovative solutions to close the literacy gap. We have committed $5.9 million to trial play-based digital apps to improve English literacy outcomes for First Australian kids in 20 preschools nationwide,” Minister Scullion said today.