VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 1 POSTED ON: 10/28/2011
Connecting remote teachers nationwide The first national conference to focus exclusively on educators who work in remote Indigenous communities is being held in Alice Springs this week. Hosted by the NT Department of Education and Training, the conference is the focal point for the newly developed Teach Remote initiative supported by the National Alliance for Remote Indigenous Schools (NARIS), which covers more than 170 indigenous schools in four states and the Northern Territory, and aims to boost the quality of teaching in indigenous communities. The inaugural National Remote Teachers’ conference will provide leading edge research for participants, generate new ideas and raise the professional profile of remote teaching. The first initiative of its kind, NARIS was formed by the heads of education in the NT, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales, and in conjunction with the Stronger Smarter Institute and the Australian Government. A major focus of the Teach Remote initiative is to encourage teachers to commit to a minimum of two years placement in remote communities. Gary Barnes, Chief Executive of the NT Department of Education and Training who instigated the alliance, said all remote indigenous schools grappled with similar problems and it made sense to share resources at such a conference. Mr Barnes said it was hoped remote teaching eventually gets to the point where “just about every teacher in the country wants to work in a remote school, to step up to this challenge at some point as part of their professional growth, to become a better teacher.” He said teachers are more likely to stay in remote communities if they feel connected and supported professionally and the NARIS conference was one way of providing face-to-face networking among like teachers. Mr Barnes said the NARIS conference would help establish professional networks enabling teachers in Cape York in Queensland to swap notes with those in the Kimberley or the Central Australian desert areas. The conference is set to become an annual event, hosted each year by a different NARIS jurisdiction with Queensland set to host the 2012 conference. The Federal Government provided NARIS with $5 million for Teach Remote which will contribute to attracting, retaining and developing quality teachers in remote Indigenous communities. Hosting this nationally significant conference is another step towards the Northern Territory Government’s 2030 target of making Alice Springs a national hub for excellence in remote education. Media contact – Bruce Cutler 0401 119 241
"Connecting remote teachers nationwide"