News National Aboriginal languages to be HSC subject
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Aboriginal languages to be HSC subject

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Aboriginal languages will be a HSC subject from 2016, according to the New South Wales education minister Adrian Piccoli.

Mr Piccoli made the announcement at Menindee Central School in the state’s west on Tuesday, a decade after an Indigenous language policy was introduced in NSW.

“This new course will help maintain this critical part of Aboriginal cultures,” Mr Piccoli said.

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“Menindee Central School is a Connected Communities school and already teaches Paakantji. The new course enables students to continue their studies into years 11 and 12 and I look forward to other schools joining them.”

There are 35 Aboriginal languages across NSW, and 19 are already being taught with more than 100 dialects, Fairfax Media reported.

Students have been able to take Aboriginal language subjects from kindergarten to year 10 since 2005.

This allowed teachers to become familiar with how to teach the course once it got to the more rigorous HSC level.

The course will not count to student’s ATAR score, but it will allow more flexibility within their course.  

Syllabuses will be developed in conjunction with communities.

The NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams told Fairfax Media that schools can help young people to become “caretakers of their languages”.

“This course will aid Aboriginal young people to become the future custodians and caretakers of their languages and empower them to maintain a strong sense of identity. For non-Aboriginal young people it will provide them with a deeper understanding of the world’s oldest living culture,” Mrs Williams said.

“The partnership between the school and their local Aboriginal community will enable knowledge holders to provide expertise and guidance to classroom teachers.”

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