No Warlpiri, no school? A preliminary look at attendance in Warlpiri schools since introducing the First Four Hours of English policy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Bilingual education programs had been delivered in some Northern Territory schools for over three decades until the development of a policy in 2008 requiring all schools to teach in English for the first four hours of each school day. In justifying the policy, the Northern Territory Government claimed bilingual education programs had a negative effect on attendance and enrolment. These claims have since been challenged and human rights breaches implicit within the policy identified. Two years after the effective abolition of bilingual education, attendance and enrolment data from four Warlpiri schools show no improvement in attendance rates and in some cases attendance rates and levels of student engagement that have reduced significantly. This data provides serious challenges to Northern Territory Government claims that bilingual education programs have a negative impact on enrolment and attendance and suggests a re-evaluation of policy relating to bilingual education is required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-113
    JournalJournal of Australian Indigenous Issues
    Volume35
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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