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Title: Alternative Pathways
Contributor(s): Boughton, Robert George (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: National and state/territory-based policy and program initiatives in Indigenous education over recent years have opened up significant pathways for post-compulsory school age young people and adults into further education and employment. This has resulted in improved retention rates in Year 10-12, a major increase in the number of Indigenous people enrolling in vocational education programs, and significant progress in achieving employment and community development outcomes. Research undertaken in the VET system by the author suggests that one of the keys to these developments has been an increasing acceptance at a system level of the key role of Indigenous leadership and advice. Where resourcing and structural recognition have been sufficient to allow this advice to be offered to non-Indigenous partner agencies on an independent and equal basis, there have been steady improvements in the quality and strategic focus of that advice. Similar trends can be identified in the Indigenous health sector. The maintenance and further development of such advice mechanisms remains, therefore, a major challenge. In the majority of Indigenous communities, however, the legacy of low levels of investment in education until the recent past continue to hamper efforts by community leaders to provide similar leadership, not just within education, but across a whole range of functional areas, including health development, economic development, and the maintenance of law, order and good governance. On the one hand, there are still far too many young people without clear pathways through education and into employment and community responsibility. On the other hand, the formal education experiences of the older adults wishing to help them have been such that they are often ill-equipped to negotiate equal and effective partnerships with public, private and non-government agencies operating from within an increasingly complex policy framework. Demographic trends suggest that current rates of progress in the formal education sectors are not sufficient to overcome this problem in the foreseeable future. This presentation will consider how additional alternative non-formal further education pathways might be opened up to address this challenge, within the context of the national commitment to capacity building and whole-of-government responses.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: 18th Meeting of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) Forum on Indigenous Education, Canberra, Australia, 12th - 13th May, 2005
Source of Publication: Presented at the MCEETYA Indigenous Education Forum
Field of Research (FOR): 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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