Scott Morrison will waive HECS debts for teachers who go to work in remote indigenous communities. Picture: Kym Smith
Scott Morrison will waive HECS debts for teachers who go to work in remote indigenous communities. Picture: Kym Smith

PM to ditch HECS for remote teachers

AUSTRALIAN teachers will have their HECS debts shelved if they commit to working in remote ­indigenous areas, under a major initiative.

According to a report in The Australian, Scott Morrison's plan is reportedly designed at improving education outcomes and reforming the Closing the Gap process, which hasn't reached the majority of targets, which were set more than a decade ago.

Mr Morrison will announce an education package aimed at attracting teachers to ­almost 300 schools as well as a $200 million program to keep indigenous children in school as part of a revamp of the current system.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to close the education gap. Picture: Getty Images
Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to close the education gap. Picture: Getty Images

The Australian said the 11th Closing the Gap report card ­showed a 10-year failure in that all but two of the seven targets set on health, education, employment and life expectancy outcomes for indigenous communities had not been met.

Mr Morrison reportedly told The Australian that the targets had been unintentionally "doomed to fail", saying that he would take a more practical approach with the intention of delivering real outcomes. "This has been an acute disappointment for a lot of people for a long time," Mr Morrison told the newspaper.

 

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion during a visit to Gunbalanya School in Arnhem Land. Picture: AAP
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion during a visit to Gunbalanya School in Arnhem Land. Picture: AAP

 

Claiming that the targets set in 2008 had been inadvertently "doomed to fail", the Prime Minister told The Australian that he would take a practical approach in putting forth real outcomes. "This has been an acute disappointment for a lot of people for a long time," Mr Morrison said.

He said he was not going to "make a long list of pledges" to add to "a long list of disappointments".

The HECS debt would be waived for 3100 teachers who signed up to work in remote schools for four years and would apply to the 292 schools in those areas.

 

Australian Army soldiers visit the local children at Laura State School in Cape York. Picture: AP
Australian Army soldiers visit the local children at Laura State School in Cape York. Picture: AP

 

The Australian also reported that the $177 million support program would help with access to secondary education opportunities, including mentoring.

"While all the other things are important, my focus is on wanting to get kids in school and them longer in school," Mr Morrison said.

 

- with The Australian