The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Noumea today to allow for the development of an Australian curriculum section in the French Baccalaureate.
Mr Pyne signed the Memorandum of Understanding with French High Commissioner to New Caledonia, Mr Vincent Bouvier, and President of the Government of New Caledonia, Mr Philippe Germain.
“This Memorandum of Understanding for the inclusion of defined Australian content in the Baccalaureate represents a significant step in the wider recognition of Australian history and culture in the realm of education internationally,” Minister Pyne said.
“The proposed Australian section of the Baccalaureate will build on similar international sections in the French high school curriculum for the United States, United Kingdom and several other countries.
“Once the curriculum is established, the Australian section will be trialled in a number of secondary schools in New Caledonia, requiring students to invest about six hours a week on Australian literature and four hours a week on Australian history and geography.
“Upon successful completion of the trial, secondary schools in France could incorporate the Australian section into their Baccalaureate.”
Wrapping up his education visit to Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia, Minister Pyne said the Australian Government believes greater engagement within the Pacific region is a high priority.
“The Australian Government places high importance on our relationships in the Pacific region as both a friend and a neighbour,” Mr Pyne said.
“This has been my first trip to the region as Minister for Education and Training, and highly productive in maintaining connections with our Pacific neighbours.”