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Boarding school 'too late' for Indigenous literacy push

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 2 November 2004

An Alice Springs principal has welcomed a call for more Indigenous students to be sent to boarding schools but says early education attendance must be improved for such a measure to work.

Cape York Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson says Indigenous children might perform better if more attended boarding schools in major centres.

Pastor Mark Doeche, the principal of Yirara College, says Indigenous children can make swift progress in a high school boarding environment.

But he says they are at a disadvantage because 80 per cent of his year seven students arrive with literacy skills below year three standard.

"Here in central Australia, Indigenous students from remote communities don't have English literacy and numeracy levels to even begin to access what we call mainstream, let alone manage in a boarding school interstate," he said.

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