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More Indigenous teachers needed: Democrats

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 28 September 2004

The Australian Democrats say employing more Indigenous teachers is the key to improving Aboriginal education.

Democrat Senator Lyn Allison launched the party's Indigenous education policy in Darwin today.

The policy centres around getting more Indigenous teachers into schools to help encourage attendance.

The policy also advocates bilingual teaching, an increase in post-graduate scholarships and an improvement in remote area facilities.

Senator Allison says improvements in Indigenous education have stalled.

"My concern is that we'll start going backwards unless there is more effort put into Indigenous education," she said.

"It is the way forward for many communities, to be more independent, for jobs to be made available to people."

Senator Allison says getting indigenous teachers into schools is vital.

"We need Indigenous teachers because they are role models," she said.

"They are also able to provide a more culturally sensitive approach to teaching and many of the teachers who are in remote Aboriginal schools are very under-prepared for that task."

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