Aboriginal staff working for the Department of Education in WA will have the opportunity to pursue a career in teaching, as part of a new $3 million pilot program with Curtin University.
33 current Department of Education staff members will be the first participants of the pilot program to study a Bachelor of Education at Curtin University.
These staff members are currently employed by the Department as Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers, or in a range of support roles in primary and secondary schools across the state.
“The majority of these participants are employed as Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers while four are in other important roles – all providing vital support to young Aboriginal students,” said Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt.
“They are well placed to undertake further training to become school teachers and this program presents a big opportunity to do so, while maintaining employment as they undertake their study.”
WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery added, “We want our Aboriginal students to be confident and successful learners as well as provide greater opportunities for our Aboriginal school staff.
“The 33 participants come from schools all over the state – the Kimberley, Midwest, Pilbara, Wheatbelt and the metropolitan area – and will continue their important work at schools while they study part-time.”
The Bachelor of Education course will be delivered primarily online for the 30 women and three men who will study part-time while continuing to work, with participants able to complete the course over a minimum period of five years.
To be accepted into the Bachelor of Education, participants had to meet set criteria and receive endorsement from their school principals.
Support will be provided by staff from Curtin University and participants will also have teacher mentors from their schools in addition to online support.
“Curtin University has a history of supporting Aboriginal students to undertake higher education, and I’m delighted we can work together to increase the number of Aboriginal teachers we have working in our public schools,” Minister Ellery added.