Push for better remote education

19 Jul, 2018 04:00 AM
ICPA WA president Tash Johns.
ICPA WA president Tash Johns.

GETTING a better deal for the education of children living in remote areas across the country is high on the agenda for Tash Johns, Marble Bar, when she attends the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) of Australia national conference in Canberra next month.

Ms Johns, the WA ICPA president, is part of the WA contingent who will be at the event on Wednesday, August 1 and Thursday, August 2, looking at ways of improving conditions for isolated children and their families.

She said they would continue lobbying for changes, including the introduction of a Distance Education Tutor Allowance to help families who were home tutored.

“We have got parents, and I have been one of them, who are at home tutoring full-time during school hours and then you have to employ someone to help in the business you are running,” Ms Johns said of the ongoing issue.

“We just feel we need an allowance for those parents who are educating their kids,” she said.

Ms Johns said they were pursuing an increase in funding in the Assistance for Isolated Children program for children who were boarding away from home and they also wanted a Tertiary Access Allowance.

She said the ICPA Federal council had been lobbying for the tertiary allowance for a number of year so students could attend a tertiary institution of their choosing.

“A lot of students in major regional centres and in the metropolitan area don’t have to move away from home for university,” Ms Johns said.

She said this was the opposite for students living in remote areas, including her own daughter who was in her first year of university and was living 1500 kilometres away from home.

Ms Johns said a lot of regional students were off to boarding school at 11 years of age and then attended university after that, which came at a massive cost to their parents, something the ICPA wanted to help with.

Being held at Canberra this year Ms Johns was hopeful more Federal politicians would attend various conference sessions to get an understanding of regional issues.



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