The RRR Network has a 21- year history of engaging with the WA State Govternment on matters that impact the lives of WA Women and their families. We are pleased that the Minister for Education the Hon Sue Ellery MLC has agreed to meet with the RRR Network board members at the end of January 2018.
Our engagement with Government is always on a bipartisan basis, and is respectful and solution-driven. We welcome submissions from all Rural, Regional and Remote WA Women (VIA EMAIL ONLY) to form the basis of our discussions with Minister Ellery.
Your submission should focus on solutions and can be sent in the form of a simple email. The following information has been provided and we ask that you read this prior to putting in a submission.
- For children living in rural and remote parts of the State, education is currently delivered by six separate schools.
- One is the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) which started as the WA Correspondence School in 1918 and the other five are the Schools of the Air (SOTA), which started providing radio-based ‘air lessons’ from Meekatharra in 1959.
- Each of the five SOTA sites currently have a separate Principal, as does SIDE. Each of the six schools also have a separate administration. They each provide education to home-based, geographically isolated students across WA.
- Lessons are no longer provided via the radio or correspondence by the SOTA or SIDE – they all now use the same satellite technology web-conferencing. They each provide online access to courses and resources; each provide printed materials; each support students using email, telephone and direct one-on-one online communication.
- They also all use the same technology to ensure students feel part of a class, where they can see their fellow students and hear their responses in real time.
- What the SOTA do that is different to SIDE is in the sense of community that is built through a range of specific elements. For example:
- The annual camp (Muster) for Year 4 to 6 children at Lake Cooloongup Youth Camp in Baldivis.
- Home visits so teachers visiting each child’s home gain an understanding about where the children live and make the learning program relevant for each child.
- Mini-camps held in locations (stations) so neighbouring families can come together for a range of activities.
- Support for home tutors (usually mothers) through seminars to increase their knowledge about how best they can support their children’s learning.
- These services can be incorporated into the new model, while saving on the costs associated with providing separate administrations and separate leadership positions.
- Daily satellite lessons will continue to be provided by teachers using the same technology that is currently used. This model is already used by teachers at SIDE who deliver Japanese, Indonesian, French and Italian lessons to some children enrolled in the SOTAs.
- Follow-ups will continue through email, telephone and direct one-on-one online communication.
If you would like to comment on the above, please do so in an email submission to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 15th January 2018.