The personal learning network for educators
So I have a dilemma.
I work with Indigenous staff in remote communities in Australia. Amongst other challenges to up skilling our staff we also contend with varied voices on whether or not Education Support workers should be undertaking Certificate III in Education support if they have poor literacy and numeracy.
The jury is out on this topic and many are really interested. Any thoughts are much appreciated.
Is there anthing in place or being looked into, such as a program that could upgrade the literacy and numercay skills of future support workers, which then becomes the prerequisite in order to enroll in the certificate program you mentioned?
You are on the dot Adele. We are looking at incorporating literacy and numeracy skills into professional standards and job descriptions.
Also we are working with existing support staff who are already enrolled to provide literacy and numeracy support on the ground.
Great to hear you were already looking into this.. We had the same problem with our Educational Assistants (EAs) and the upgrading program did wonders and gave many a chance for employment in their home communities.. win- win situation all around.
This link will give you some idea about Certificate III in Education Support.
Yes our remote communities do have funding for their education programs, we have schools in all our remote communities in the Northern Territory where I live and work.
The reasons for Indigenous staff having poor literacy and numeracy are complex and many but one of the most obvious ones I suppose is that they speak English as a second, third or almost foreign language. When the role began it was more for providing a link between the white teachers and the aboriginal students and community than for academic purposes. The role has evolved and now we are working towards enhanced career pathways and opportunities for Indigenous staff. This requires a higher level of literacy and numeracy in most cases than what they possess.