Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
Newly released data from the Productivity Commission shows the Tasmanian education system’s performance continues to decline in key learning areas. It’s clear the Rockliff government must do more to improve educational outcomes for children and young people.
Tasmania’s educators are doing amazing work to support students, and to balance the many demands of their job – but they can only do so much. We’re regularly hearing from teachers and support staff about how chronic under-resourcing and under-staffing is leading to poorer outcomes for Tasmanian students – as shown by these new figures.
The Report on Government Services (ROGS) reveals Tasmania has recorded the worst NAPLAN results of any state for all year levels in the areas of reading and numeracy, and among the worst results for writing.
In many cases these results have gone backwards from last year. Going to school and getting a good education is about so much more than test results, but that doesn’t mean we should accept such poor results for young learners.
We know declining opportunities for young Tasmanians, coupled with ballooning cost of living and an untenable rental and housing market, means this generation of young people will be facing the most challenging economic and social conditions of the modern era. These circumstances mean a quality education is even more important than ever before – but this is still not the experience for too many children.
The ROGS data also shows the rate of recent school leavers fully engaged in education or work is declining, and is the second lowest in the country. After recording an engagement rate of 66.6% in 2011, Tasmania is now at 61.8% - a clear indication that for many children school just isn’t delivering for their future.
Other concerning areas include a drop in civic and citizenship literacy, and a drop in ICT literacy – both crucial areas for the challenges of the future.
A strong, fair, and accessible public education system is foundational for a healthy and equal society. As a state we simply must do better in ensuring every student, no matter their background, is supported to achieve strong educational outcomes.
Right now schools, educators, students, and parents are struggling to make the best of an underfunded public system, but the Rockliff Government just isn’t doing enough to support them.