Every Territorian deserves a quality, free education, regardless of their background or location. A quality education is one that provides students with the space to learn and develop their skills, creativity, and sense of self. A strong public education system across remote, rural, and urban NT is key to building a fair, successful, and cohesive society from which we all benefit.
The Greens believe:
- Access to education is a human right.
- First Nations people, whether living in remote communities or in urban settings, have a right to education in their own language, culture and learning systems.
- First Nations communities should have control over the design and delivery of educational services for their children and other community members.
- First Nations people living in community shouldn’t have to leave their homelands in order to access quality education.
- The salaries and conditions of teachers, early childhood educators and other educators should be set at a level that recognises their professionalism, training and the importance of their work, provides secure career structures, and encourages committed and capable people into the teaching profession at all levels of the education system.
- Society will benefit most from an education system that is designed upon fairness, inclusivity and accessibility.
- Education funding should be based on need.
- All children and young people have a right to a free and quality education, and a person’s gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality, income, or disability must not be a barrier to them receiving a quality education.
- Children and young people at school should not go hungry.
- Providing free education, including University and TAFE, is an investment that has an overall positive effect on the economy.
- Children and young people living outside of metropolitan centres have the right to the same standard of education as those in metropolitan centres.
- Childcare is a right of all families.
- Educational facilities play a crucial role in socialising the population on issues that contribute to a strong, cohesive society.
- University, vocational training and TAFE are vital educational and employment pathways for many Territorians and must be made free and accessible to all.
The Greens want:
First Nations education
- First Nations people to be empowered to develop a pedagogy and curriculum that is reflective of living cultures and histories and which nurtures connection to culture in younger generations.
- Multilingual education to be prioritised as a method of engaging with First Nations children and young people, and improving academic outcomes.
- Non-First Nations children and young people should be given opportunities to learn First Nations languages, culture and history by incorporating these topics into mainstream curriculums.
- To formalise regular engagement with First Nations peoples in the formulation of curriculum, funding and policy.
- Increased resources for First Nations students, including more First Nations teachers and support workers, language, reading, and cultural materials, as well as cultural training for all staff.
Pedagogy and curriculum
- Pedagogy and curriculum to be reflective of the local contexts and communities in which schools are situated; meaning greater visibility and appreciation for the diversity of local communities.
- An educational system, curriculum and pedagogy that emphasises lifelong learning, strengths of the individual, creativity and wellbeing.
- The NT education system to deliver programs that aims to address and alleviate social issues such as gendered violence, sexual violence, consent, discrimination, substance use, mental illnesses and suicide.
- Abolition of external mass-testing of students unless it:
- follows the principles of 'assessment for learning';
- aligns with the public curriculum applicable in each educational region; and
- are used for diagnostic support of students and treated as professional-in-confidence; or
- in a robust, and high quality educational credential that serves as a record of the student's achievement for post-school activities.
Funding and pay
- Increased funding to public education in all parts of the system.
- To lift the pay for teachers to properly reflect their invaluable contribution to the lives of young Territorians and to attract more prospective teachers to the profession.
- To shift the direction of education policy away from neoliberal values such as competition, privatisation, outsourcing and other market-based mechanisms.
- National needs-based funding that results in public funding to private schools being scaled down in accordance with the Schools Resource Standard, including to zero in applicable cases. Any funding made available by this process will be re-invested in public schools with the highest levels of need.
- Recognition that the inequitable growth in federal funding to non-government schools has had an adverse impact on public education and entails that any funding to non-government schools should:
- be set so that total public subsidy to the non-government sector does not advantage private education at the expense of public education; and
- take into account the resources and assets of each individual school, a direct measure of the economic status of parents and carers, and the school's capacity to generate income from all sources, including fees and other contributions such as philanthropy.
Equity and accessibility
- Free and universally accessible school and tertiary education.
- Increased support services to address barriers to education for marginalised children and young people, including education reengagement programs for children, young people and adults.
- To ensure that children and young people at school do not go hungry through school based breakfast and lunch programs.
- Children and young people in rural and remote areas receive access to high quality education.
- All children and young people to have access to mental health support at schools, including dedicated counsellors and free mental health training for all staff.
- Children and young people living outside of metropolitan centres to have access to the same standard of education as those in metropolitan centres.
- Education funding across all government education sectors to reject the use of funding vouchers for non-government schools and competitive tendering for TAFE.