As one of the first steps towards strengthening its place in the Asia-Pacific region, and to better engage with its Asian neighbours, Australia should properly value and resource its public education system, Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools, Senator Penny Wright said.
Responding to comments made by Treasurer Wayne Swan at the Australia in China's Century Conference today, Senator Wright said Gonski had shown the right way forward for improving Australia's education system and creating better opportunities for all children, which will benefit our whole nation in the long-term.
"The Gonski review has found that Australia's international performance in education has declined over the last decade and that underfunding of public education has led to a deep inequity in Australia's schools system which deprives us of the potential of many children," Senator Wright said.
"The recent 2012 OECD Education at a Glance report has confirmed that we are lagging behind other countries, including our Asian neighbours, when it comes to properly resourcing our public schools.
"A high-quality and equitable public education system is one of the best financial investments we can make as a nation. By investing in the education of our kids we will enhance our human capital, increase skills, innovation and productivity and give every child the chance to reach their full potential.
"In this 'Asian century', we need to increase the funding and promotion of Asian languages in our schools to contribute to our future prosperity and allow us to truly engage and strengthen our ties with our neighbours."