Australia: Gonski campaign hits the road
EI’s affiliate, the Australian Education Union (AEU) continues to pursue the objectives of EI’s Unite for Quality Education through its I give a Gonski campaign. For the next five weeks until 18 March, four vans will cover 23,000 km in Australia pressuring the continent’s government to deliver on quality education for all.
The vans, which set off from the four corners of Australia today, 10 February, will arrive in convoy in the nation’s capital, Canberra, on 18 March.
In the meantime, they will visit over 100 schools, hold stalls at country fairs and city shopping centres, host community barbecues in parks, and stage rallies outside politicians’ offices, before arriving in Canberra ahead of the May federal budget where the future funding of all schools will be decided.
Think globally, act locally The AEU’s I give a Gonski campaign promotes the need for better funding for schools, so that they have the resources to ensure every student is given the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. The campaign shares Unite’s goals: quality teaching, quality tools, and quality environments.
"As we travel, we’ll be connecting with communities the length and breadth of the country to build support for action on Gonski school funding reform by the Abbott Government and state and territory governments,” said Angelo Gavrielatos, AEU Federal President.
“So far, Prime Minister Abbott continues to ignore the evidence outlining the urgency and fundamental importance of school funding reform. To give a Gonski is to stand for high quality education for all, consistent with EI's flagship global education campaign Unite for Quality Education."
Broken promise on Gonski funding The tour follows new research released last week which found the Abbott Government’s current commitment -to four years of extra school funding- amounts to only one third of the investment required to give every student the opportunity to achieve their very best.
Unless that funding is continued beyond four years, warns the research, Prime Minister Abbott is locking in a funding failure in the Australian school system.
Without funding reform, the resource gaps will remain between schools, as will the achievement gaps between students. Currently, there is a two to three-year achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students in Australia.
Without a continuation of that funding, public schools across the country will remain below the resources standard established by the Gonski report.