The NT has 13 qualified TLs in 151 government schools.
From the NT Hansard 8/16/2011
Question from the Shadow Minister of Education.
Question Transcript – 08/16/2011
Mr CHANDLER to MINISTER for EDUCATION and TRAINING
In June this year, you announced the establishment of the Nightcliff education precinct, designed to provide programs of academic excellence. Given that, can you confirm Nightcliff Middle School does not have a librarian and has had its library removed? Can you explain how removing a school library fits in with your government’s model of an education precinct?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I welcome the question because it gives me a chance to talk about the Nightcliff Middle School and its direction in becoming an ICT precinct. We have made it a precinct with Elizabeth Veel, well-known principal of Nightcliff Primary School, as the head of that precinct.
There is no doubt the school decided to go down this route of being an ICT centre and has entered into an important partnership with Apple for computers. I am not at liberty to talk about the quantum of the support Apple is giving the school because that is the way Apple wants it. However, I can tell parliament that each child in the later years at that school is issued with an iPad and each child starting off at that school is issued with a device.
Decisions about librarians and libraries are decisions for schools and are made at the school level in consultation with school councils. I am not in the business of overturning decisions made by the leadership in schools in collaboration with the school council. This is clearly a direction taken by Nightcliff Middle School and I commend it.
I was at the Principals Conference earlier this year and some young students spoke about this new age of ICT and said: ‘I invite you to come in to our world, the world of ICT’.
That is the way things are going; kids can access material on the Internet – whole libraries on the Internet. The collection of the physical library at Nightcliff Middle School has been put in the classrooms. The school is actually two teachers over entitlement because of their submission and their work. It is up to the school, as we all know. Those of us who actually attend school council meetings know that schools, in collaboration with school councils, make those decisions.
I advise you, member for Brennan, to go to Nightcliff Middle School. I will arrange a trip for you, and you can talk to the staff and the students yourself, as I have on several occasions. I believe you would be enthusiastic about the direction it has taken. The question is not appropriate for me, because it is a decision made by the school itself.
If you would like to thank Peter Chandler for his concern and give him more information for parliamentary debate about IT vs libraries you can email him on Peter.Chandler@nt.gov.au The Education Minister, Bruce Burns, can be contacted at email@example.com.