Australian Greens Senator and Education Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi has responded to reports that Australian students are slipping in international testing standards by calling for more and better targeted education funding in Australia, especially for the most disadvantaged schools. She has also called on the Government to invest more in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Senator Faruqi said:
“I think we should take global standardised testing results with a grain of salt. However, this is clearly a wake up call for State and Federal Governments to invest properly in education and public schools, especially targeting investment towards our most disadvantaged schools.
“By 2023, 99% of public schools will be stuck below the national resource standard, while 99% of private schools will be at or above it. Public schools are massively underfunded but are in many cases outperforming private schools. Imagine what they could do if we funded them properly.
“Governments across Australia need to step up for the most disadvantaged students who are struggling with a lack of funding and educational facilities. They must stop showering already overfunded private schools with cash and redirect that money to public schools who serve the vast majority of disadvantaged students.
“It is clear that we need much more support for students to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It’s time for State and Federal Governments to take this issue much more seriously.