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Greens to boost Indigenous language learning in schools

Media Release
Penny Wright 2 Sep 2013

The Australian Greens will commit $30 million to expand the teaching and learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, schools spokesperson Senator Penny Wright and NT Greens Senate candidate Warren H. Williams announced today.

Ahead of National Indigenous Literacy Day on Wednesday, Mr Williams said Australia risked losing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages without a more concerted effort in schools.

"Although there are more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken in Australia, there are only around 80 different Indigenous languages taught in Australian schools," he said.

"The Greens support our right to speak, use and revitalise Indigenous languages and our right to speak and learn our languages in schools.

"These programs should be properly funded to give our kids a good education, and to support healthy lives and jobs in the bush."

Australian Greens education spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said the Australian Greens would provide an extra $10 million a year for the next three years to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages alive.

"There is strong evidence to suggest educational outcomes for Aboriginal kids are significantly improved when they can learn in their own language.

"Under the Australian Greens plan, we will support and train educators working in remote communities to become bilingual in an Aboriginal language and make Aboriginal language courses available to all pre-service teachers intending to work in Aboriginal communities.

The Australian Greens announced their plan to boost indigenous language learning as part of a broader education package, which includes placing an extra teacher in up to a third of all schools.

More about the Australian Greens plans to support students and value teachersĀ is available here.

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