The Northern Territory Government is working with Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Batchelor Institute to deliver a more culturally responsive education in remote communities by increasing the number of Aboriginal teachers and educators in remote classrooms.
This year’s Remote Aboriginal Teacher Education (RATE) model, which encompasses the previous Assistant Teacher Project, will streamline support for Aboriginal educators through the delivery of a targeted suite of professional learning opportunities, including non-accredited training, Vocational Education and Training, and tertiary education qualifications.
The model aims to build the capacity of existing Aboriginal educators in remote and very remote education settings at every step of their educational career and to create opportunities for Aboriginal educators who aspire to become qualified teachers.
In 2022, the tertiary component of this model involves 8 remote communities and is available to Aboriginal Educators from Adelaide River, Alice Springs Galiwinku, Groote Eylandt, Millingimbi, Nyirripi, Wooliana, Yipirinya School (in Alice Springs) and Yuendumu.
Education Minister the Hon Lauren Moss said the expanded RATE program would create a sustainable and streamlined approach for approximately 250 Aboriginal Assistant Teachers across the 108 remote and very remote Territory education settings.
“The Remote Aboriginal Teacher Education model creates a talent pipeline that drives growth and ensures future sustainability of our Aboriginal educator workforce in Territory education settings,” Minister Moss said.
“Teachers have the biggest in-school impact on positive student learning outcomes. Positive, energetic, culturally responsive, and skilled educators motivate children and young people to engage in learning and experience success.”
CDU College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts Dean, Professor Ruth Wallace, said investing in the Aboriginal education workforce is an investment in culturally responsive and effective education for all Territorians.
“By working in partnership with remote communities, the Department of Education, and Batchelor Institute we are building a connected learning system that will see Aboriginal people graduating and taking leadership roles in NT classrooms and schools,” Professor Wallace said.
“CDU continues to build connected pathways through vocational courses in education support and early childhood development and enabling programs that will ensure there is a clear path for every Aboriginal person who wants to engage in leading NT educational opportunities.”
Last year, 187 Aboriginal educators across 46 remote and very remote schools were supported through both the Remote Aboriginal Teacher Education pilot and the Assistant Teacher Project.
Thirteen 2021 RATE tertiary participants are due to graduate from the Undergraduate Certificate Remote Educators course in upcoming ceremonies. Six participants will graduate at a CDU Graduation Ceremony at the Darwin Convention Centre on April 7.
An additional seven participants will graduate in June in Alice Springs with further graduations expected in Darwin in September.
In addition to the graduating RATE participants, one recipient of the Department’s Aboriginal Teacher Education Scholarship, Skye Clayton, is graduating at the CDU graduation with a Bachelor of Education – Primary degree.
In 2022, 29 tertiary RATE participants will study the Undergraduate Certificate of Remote Educators and Diploma of Education.
The RATE model provides education career pathway opportunities with entry and exit points that lead to meaningful employment in Territory education settings.