Thursday, September 01, 2011

Schooling Review Fails to Address Digital Education Revolution

The Australian Government "Review of Funding for Schooling" released four independent research reports and overview paper 31 August 2011. Public comment is invited by 30 September 2011.

The then Minister for Education (now Prime Minister), Julia Gillard, planned the review of all aspects of funding of all schools in Australia to report in 2011. The review panel is headed by David Gonski, Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange, Coca-Cola Amatil and Investec Bank.

In my view the terms of reference for the review are deficient, in that they refer to "schooling", rather than "education for students". The review is therefore looking at how to fund isolated institutions in buildings at a particular geographic location (a "school"), rather than how to provide the best, most cost effective education for students. This is not a good way to allocate resources.

The Australian Government's Digital Education Revolution (DER) has made a start on a new approach to education, but with only minimal funding. Australia should adopt an approach for schools similar to that for vocational education, where courses are developed nationally and student's education is largely independent of where they happen to be.

No comments: