Local MP: Please Include Emerald in ED Forums

The Central Highlands would be an ideal location for a community consultation forum and even a pilot study on the introduction of computer coding and robotics into Queensland schools, according to Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar MP.

Last week in parliament, Queensland education minister Kate Jones announced the Advancing Education Action Plan to increase the study of STEM subjects including robotics and computer coding. The plan will cover all school levels from Prep to Year 12.

“This is an ambitious plan and the Central Highlands offers a unique location to understand the challenges which must be overcome if it is to be successful,” said Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar MP.

“If it works on the Central Highlands, it will work in most Queensland localities,” said Mr Millar. “Sadly this is not always the case. Many well-intentioned programs have failed because they were designed for delivery in the South-East corner and forgot about the rest of the State. We don’t want to risk creating a two-tier education system with rural children left out of the jobs of the future.”

Mr Millar said the Central Highlands is home to 32 school communities which range in size from large schools with mainly town-based enrolments to small one and two teacher schools in relatively remote settings.

“In a geographically compact setting, the Central Highlands has a very diverse education range. We have large schools and small schools. We have state schools and private schools. We even have distance education,” said Mr Millar.

“You could not find a better location to consult with parents and teachers. In fact, you could not find a better location to undertake a pilot study. If it works here, it will work in larger towns to the east and more isolated schools to the west,” he said.

The Minister’s announcement on Wednesday, October 14, listed 17 locations for community consultation forums, including Rockhampton and Longreach, but none in the Central Highlands.

Mr Millar said he had written to the Minister asking her to include Emerald in the forums schedule.

“I know how interested my constituents are in education, both teachers and parents. A forum would be very enthusiastically received,” said Mr Millar.