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Aboriginal culture: MP needs to go back to school

Minister needs to go back to school on Aboriginal culture.

"Calls by the Federal Education Minister, Julie Bishop to stop teaching Aboriginal culture in remote schools clearly demonstrate that she knows nothing about the problems facing remote schools and the best way to engage their students," said Senator Siewert.

"No wonder mainstreaming is failing when the Minister for Education doesn't understand the basics, she said.

"She clearly has not engaged with the issues and is asleep at the wheel."

The report by right-wing think-tank the Menzies Centre clearly confuses the 'traditionality' of students with their remoteness.

"Children in remote areas often lack access to good schools, teachers and resources and must contend with extreme poverty and low levels of parental education," said Senator Siewert. "It is these factors, rather than their 'traditionality' that are impacting on their educational achievement.

"The incorporation of culture into the classroom has been a successful strategy that has increased student engagement as a means of teaching a range of skills, including reading and writing and public presentation skills," said Senator Siewert.

"Culture and family are important sources of identity for Aboriginal children," she said.

"We need to encourage pride and build confidence as stepping stones to a broad education that equips today's children with the building blocks for a productive and successful life."

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