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Trouble at the college

19-2-2015 The Yirara College in Alice Springs is facing many problems, according to the Alice Springs News. Rampant misconduct by some students is making Yirara unsafe for other students and staff and makes meaningful teaching all but impossible. “The kids just refuse to obey. They walk out of class, they tease each other in (Aboriginal) language. The teacher can’t understand them.” Dozens of kids, the most difficult ones, should be culled from the approximately 200 who are enrolled now, to give the rest a chance of learning progress, says one of the teachers. Half the teaching staff – seven out of 14 – resigned last year. The newly arriving kids are woefully unprepared for life at Yirara, and with a grossly inadequate primary education, have no hope of keeping up with the standard curriculum. Students who barely know the alphabet are thrown in with kids who have good primary education. Policy documents dealing with conduct are completely unrealistic: “If a student does not follow instructions three times they are to get detention”. Every single one of Yilara’s students, yes, 100% of them, are in the bottom quartile of achievement (AS News).
If that rule would be implemented, 90% of the school would be in detention, says a teacher.
Comment from Wake Up Time: The situation in primary schools in remote communities is revealed, in detail in Wake Up Time. It looks like the situation at this college in Alice is the same. The only ones who will finally be able to change this situation are the parents of the involved children, and their social networks. Governmental and educational bodies blaming each other is distracting from the real issue: Indigenous people need to take responsibility themselves.

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