A new government initiative aimed at improving nationwide education will wipe clean the HECS debts of teachers who commit to working in remote Indigenous communities.
The HECS debt will be waived for 3100 teachers who sign up to work in remote schools for a minimum of four years.
As reported by The Australian today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has his sights set on bettering education systems for young Australians, with a focus on the Closing the Gap project, which was launched over a decade ago to improve the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, but has failed to meet its targets.
Mr Morrison hopes the new package will succeed in attracting teachers to remote work in 292 schools across the country.
It will also include a $200 million program focused on keeping Indigenous children in school and providing access to secondary education opportunities.
The announcement comes after the latest Closing the Gap report showed it had met only two of its seven goals set on health, education, employment and life expectancy outcomes for Indigenous communities over the past 10 years.
Mr Morrison told The Australian that targets set in the initiative had been “doomed to fail” as they were aiming too high. Now, he says, a more practical approach must be taken, 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.
He promised he would not “make a long list of pledges” to add to “a long list of disappointments”.
“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.