18 October, 2008

Nationals' education policy

18th October 2008

I refer to the recent letter by SA Nationals' President Wilbur Klein regarding education options for regional Australians.

Of course Mr.Klein is correct in pointing out the added financial burden that is carried by regional families should they look elsewhere for the education of their children and the policy of financial support is positive.

However, it must surely require more than access to high speed internet to attract quality teachers possessing an empathy for regional areas to our schools.

Australian governments should be offering highly subsidised training for those wishing to enter the teaching profession in return for a legally binding agreement to serve a minimum of 5 years in regional schools. Such a policy would encourage regional students to further their education and remain in country areas.

There is certainly no reason why this form of assistance could not be extended to other professions such as doctors and other health sector related positions, negating the need to rely on quick fix solutions such as importing foreign professionals, many of whom possess qualifications not recognised in our country and who do not understand the needs of regional Australians.