The number of school students doing maths and science is woefully inadequate in city areas. Numbers in rural areas are even worse! A new plan is in progress to improve the situation. Unfortunately, it will prove to be a total failure and waste of money.
Culture has inertia. It takes about half a century to alter established beliefs. Rural children believe that maths and science are too difficult for them so they do not even attempt them. They stay with the social subjects. The new "curative" program to solve the matter will ignore city students and concentrate on rural regions.
There is a noticeably low number of rural students doing education, engineering and science degrees. Note that 74 per cent of teachers in city areas have STEM experience, while only 17 per cent of rural teachers have done STEM work. The intention is to send high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers to the bush - they will love that! It is like sending the trainer of the winner of the Melbourne Cup to train horse riders in the sticks, an absolute waste of resources.
Advanced teachers are not the answer. Those who can teach the basics are needed because going with the horse analogy, getting over the first jump is the most difficult problem. If students get this achievement they will at least choose base maths. Australia has the silliest curriculum with up to five levels of maths. When I was young we all did the same compulsory arithmetic then maths. Arithmetic has been forgotten. Bureaucrats do not see that this subject is the foundation for all math.
State schemes such as "go to" the bush for an annual $10,000 check have not worked. Teach For Australia is going to forcibly place graduates in rural schools. The experience will be part of their career training. We will see what teachers unions have to say about this. They will not accept it lying down.
To willingly draw skilled young teachers to rural schools will take money and lots of it. The federal government is cutting back payments to states. And states are running deficits. Forcing movement to the bush where even basic services are not available like a decent water supply and courier deliveries, by making rules to achieve it, will not work. City born, city live is the motto of young people.
◆ Education by Ty Buchanan ◆