Australia’s education system has been given a fresh set of guiding principles with a new education declaration endorsed by all education ministers in Alice Springs today.
The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration sets out two goals for the education system:
- Goal 1: The Australian education system promotes excellence and equity.
- Goal 2: All young Australians become confident and creative individuals, successful lifelong learners, and active and informed members of the community.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the new goals were written after a year-long consultation with students, teachers, academics and education experts.
“Our Government insisted the updated declaration included a strong focus on the foundational areas of literacy, numeracy and discipline-based knowledge,” Mr Tehan said.
“The declaration also acknowledges the need for workforce skills including communication, team work, languages and problem solving.
“This Mparntwe Declaration ensures all governments, our school systems and tertiary institutions are on the same page when it comes to what Australians expect from their education.
“Education is now a continuous journey that begins at birth and doesn’t stop at the end of high school or after university graduation.
“Australians are moving in and out of education at various points in their life and career and learning through a variety of pathways.”
Northern Territory Minister for Education Selena Uibo advocated for the inclusion of Mparntwe, the Arrernte name for Alice Springs, in the new declaration title as a clear indication of the focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in education.
“I am extremely pleased that my federal, state and territory colleagues unanimously agreed that this important national document will, for the first time, include a traditional Aboriginal name in its title,” Ms Uibo said.
“Going forward, having both Alice Springs and Mparntwe equally front and centre in this new declaration will reflect its renewed focus on prioritising the needs of our First Nations children and Australia’s remote and regional students.”
The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration provides an update to the Melbourne Declaration that had set the principles over the past decade. It can be found online at this link.