VII. Compare the non-governmental organizations of Australia with those of your country.
Child rearing varies considerably with the country of origin, class background, education and occupation of the parents and the religious group to which a family belongs. While most practices are aimed at developing a responsible and independent child, Aboriginal and many migrant families tend to indulge young children more than do most Anglo-Celtic parents. Some ethnic groups supervise their young more strictly than the dominant Anglo-Celtic population, encouraging them to mix only with family and friends, be dependent on the family, and leave decision making to the parents.
Access to high-quality education is considered the right of all citizens, and
is primarily the responsibility of the states and territories. Each state or territory government provides funding and regulates the public and private schools within its governing area. The federal government helps to fund public universities, but is not involved in setting university curriculum. Generally, education in Australia follows the three-tier model which includes primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary education (Universities, TAFE colleges and Vocation Education and Training providers (VET providers)).
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, eighth for science and thirteenth for mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The PISA 2009 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, seventh for science and ninth for mathematics, an improvement relative to the 2006 rankings.
In 2012, education firm Pearson ranked Australian education as thirteenth in the world. The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark and Finland.
Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of five and fifteen to seventeen, depending on the state or territory, and date of birth. Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFE) and the higher education sector (university). Educational methods vary depending on particular requirements; for example, education for children in remote rural locations relies heavily on advanced communication technologies. Guidelines have been established in all states for dealing with children with special educational needs, such as those with disabilities and those who are intellectually gifted. Some schools with a high percentage of Aboriginal and/or migrant pupils have special language policies that include instruction in languages other than English.
The academic year in Australia varies between states and institutions, but generally runs from late January/early February until mid-December for primary and secondary schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holidays and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.
Pre-school and pre-prep programmes in Australia are relatively unregulated, and are not compulsory. The first exposure many Australian children have to learning with others outside of traditional parenting is day care or a parent-run playgroup.
This sort of activity is not generally considered schooling, as pre-school education is separate from primary school in all states and territories, except Western Australia where pre-school education is taught as part of the primary school system. In Queensland, pre-school programmes are often called Kindergarten or Pre-Prep, and are usually privately run but attract state government funding if run for at least 600 hours a year and delivered by a registered teacher.
Pre-schools are usually run by the state and territory governments, except in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales where they are more often run by local councils, community groups or private organizations. Pre-school is offered to three- to five-year-olds; attendance numbers vary widely between the states, but 85.7% of children attended pre-school the year before school. The year before a child is due to attend primary school is the main year for pre-school education. This year is far more commonly attended, and may take the form of a few hours of activity during weekdays.
Responsibility for pre-schools in New South Wales and Victoria, lies with the Department of Education and Communities and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), respectively. In all other states and territories of Australia, responsibility for pre-schools lie with the relevant education department.
The average net cost (taking into account the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Tax Rebate entitlements) for a long day care in Australia is $3.85 per hour, or a net cost of around $46 a day for a long day care service offering 12-hour days.School education
In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen. Government schools educate approximately 65% of Australian students, with approximately 34% in Catholic and independent schools. A small portion of students are legally home-schooled, particularly in rural areas.
Government schools (also known as public schools) are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents, while Catholic and independent schools usually charge attendance fees. However in addition to attendance fees, stationery, textbooks, uniforms, school camps and other schooling costs are not covered under government funding. The additional cost for schooling has been estimated to be on average $316 per year per child.
Regardless of whether a school is part of the Government, Catholic or independent systems, they are required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks of their state or territory. The curriculum framework however provides for some flexibility in the syllabus, so that subjects such as religious education can be taught. Most school students wear uniforms, although there are varying expectations and some Australian schools do not require uniforms. A common movement among secondary schools to support student voice has taken form as organizations such as VicSRC in Victoria bring together student leaders to promote school improvement.
Catholic and Independent schools
In 2010 66% of students in Australia attended government schools, 20% attended Catholic schools and 14% attended independent schools. In 2000 these figures were 69%, 20% and 11% respectively.
Most Catholic schools are run by their local parish, local diocese and their state's Catholic education department. Independent schools include schools operated by secular educational philosophies such as Montessori, however, the majority of independent schools are religious, being Protestant, Jewish, Islamic or non-denominational.
Some Catholic and independent schools charge high fees, and because of this Government funding for these schools is often criticized by the Australian Education Union and the Greens.
Tertiary education (or higher education) in Australia is primarily study at university or a technical college in order to receive a qualification or further skills and training. A higher education provider is a body that is established or recognized by or under the law of the Australian Government, a State, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory. VET providers, both public and private are registered by State and Territory governments.
In 2014, the Australian higher education system consisted of:
- 41 universities, of which 37 are public institutions, 2 are private, and 2 are Australian branches of overseas universities;
- 3 other self-accrediting higher education institutions; and
- non-self-accrediting higher education providers accredited by State and Territory authorities, numbering more than 150 as listed on State and Territory registers. These include several that are registered in more than one State and Territory.
The non-self-accrediting higher education providers form a diverse group of specialized, mainly private, providers that range in size and include theological colleges and other providers that offer courses in business, information technology, natural therapies, hospitality, health, law and accounting.
English is the official language of Australia and the main language of instruction in the education system. Many schools offer bilingual programs or programs in other languages.
Higher education is considered to offer the best employment opportunities. Consequently, tertiary education has become more widely available and is undertaken by an increasingly larger proportion of the population. Universities also attract substantial numbers of overseas students. The government is responsible for funding most universities and institutions, with increasing contributions being made by the students in the form of fees and post graduation tax payments.
I. Read the text. Find the words that match the definitions below:
1) the process of teaching and learning, usually at school, college, or university;
2) to let someone have or do whatever they want, even if it is bad for them;
3) the right to enter a place, use something, see someone etc.;
4) relating to the time in a child's life before they are old enough to go to school;
5) something that must be done because it is the law or because someone in authority orders you to;
6) materials that you use for writing, such as paper, pens, pencils etc.;
7) a particular type of clothing worn by all the members of a group or organization such as the school, the police, the army etc.;
8) the subjects that are taught by a school, college etc, or the things that are studied in a particular subject;
9) the area that a priest in some Christian churches is responsible for;
10) to ask someone for a particular amount of money for something you are selling;
11) a school for advanced education, especially in a particular profession or skill;
12) able to speak two languages equally well;
13) education at a college, university etc.;
14) the fact of someone being paid to work for a company or organization;
15) an amount of money that you pay to do something or that you pay to a professional person for their work.