Engaging our youth through flexible learning

NT Government

The Territory Labor Government will strengthen efforts to engage young people in Alice Springs in schools by introducing three new flexible learning programs from the start of Term 2.

The three programs are aligned to the NT Education Engagement Strategy here, which sets the course for improving engagement for children and young people across the Territory.

A Sunset School will be established at Yipirinya College over the next 12 months. Operating outside school hours, three afternoons a week and with the option of weekends, holidays and special events, the Sunset School will deliver culturally responsive and inclusive activities for children who have disengaged from traditional schooling.

A new Learning and Teach Culture program will run out of the Alice Springs Language Centre (ASLC). It will offer students language learning and cultural learning. It will also offer learning on country about native foods, medicines and land use. The program will be available twice weekly for six months.

A new senior teacher position will provide expertise to Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation Youth Program staff, supporting them to incorporate learning activities in their programs.

The teacher will also teach crucial life skills such as driver licence training, how to open a bank account, how to cook healthy food and building positive relationships. The program will also assist young people to develop the skills towards completing secondary education.

The position will strengthen the connection and coordination between Town Camp residents, schools, engagement officers and alternative education providers.

The three new programs come on top of a range of engagement initiatives already in place in Central Australia. These flexible education programs offered at Alice Outcomes for young mums, the Utnenge intensive support program at Centralian Middle School and the KITES program at Sadadeen Primary School.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Lauren Moss

“We know that some children and young people in Alice Springs are up against a range of complex social and health problems and aren’t necessarily engaging with traditional schooling.

“These programs aim to connect and engage these students back into their school through flexible, alternative education programs that are grounded in culture and first language.

“For many families and communities, cultural responsiveness is a key element to successful engagement and attendance at school.

“Learning needs to be relevant to our children and young people’s lives and it needs to respect and build from the cultural values and first languages they learn with their families at home. These programs will provide alternative education models to ensure all young Territorians have inclusive access to education.

“These programs will support ongoing efforts to improve student engagement and attendance in the region and ensure children, young people and their families are better connected to schools and support services.”

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