Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory

Last night I read Helen Hughes full monograph (see link below). I can’t pretend to come close to knowing all the solutions to such complex indigenous, cultural and educational issues. But I do know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the solution to all the failed endeavors of human autonomy. Some observations from her study:

  • The ability of our government to throw good money after bad is incredible. The benchmarked outcome testing is quite variable and what there was shows there has been no improvement at all this decade. This is a failure of the gods of secularism.
  • As a Christian I was fascinated to see her comment in passing that the most literate and numerate in some of the most remote communities were the older generation who were part of Christian missionary schools.
  • There is certainly no educational neutrality myth propounded in the NT education department. For example, they gave a grant of $159,713 for a project to develop an “algebra pedagogy that reflects the world view of indigenous students” – how is this not patronising? The problem here is not with the indigenous worldview but the idol of secular paternalism.
  • The whole study was extremely saddening and depressing. In seeking to protect a culture we are destroying it. Cultures cannot be put on a pedestal. They must be transformed by the Lordship of Christ or deformed by sin. There is no middle ground.

If you are a Christian teacher with a heart for mission, there are many opportunities around Australia right now…

Policy Monograph 83
Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory
Helen Hughes
With the numeracy and literacy skills of five-year-olds, ten thousand indigenous teenagers and young men and women are unemployable because of the educational failures of the last decade. [read more]

The Centre for Independent Studies

Other articles on Hughes report:

Education failures creating a lost generation – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

PM – Education system angered by Indigenous report

‘Education apartheid’ failing kids | The Australian

Glib lines won’t fix indigenous schools | The Australian

Top End training just all ‘pretend’ | The Australian

Three keys to improving our schools – Education News – theage.com.au

(I haven’t actually found a Fairfax press article on the actual Hughes report???)

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