Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott and Liberal Legislative Council candidate Reena Jethi today welcomed the announcement that the Baird Government has committed an additional $400,000 in funding to support the state’s Community Language Schools network.
Mr Elliott said that under the Communities United Through Language reforms, total funding for community languages in NSW will increase to over $6 million per year.
“The Baird Government recognises the value of students learning the language of their heritage and maintaining links with their communities both here and abroad,” Mr Elliott said
“I am proud of the Baird Government’s record on Community Languages and this announcement means that the this Government is investing at record levels in our Community Language Schools network, which teaches over 32,000 students in over 50 different languages, across 250 organisations.
“Over 20 per cent of people in NSW speak a language other than English at home and as our state’s economy continues to grow, so does the value of our multilingual workforce which provides an invaluable human links to our major trading partners.
“Our Communities United Through Language reforms, which have been developed in consultation with the community languages sector, will enhance opportunities for teachers to undertake professional development and improve student participation in NSW.
Mrs Jethi said the Communities United Through Language reforms would provide greater incentives for community language students by, for the first time:
- Providing formal recognition of Community Language School learning through Record of School Achievement (RoSA) for graduating students;
- Awarding Certificates of Participation to primary school students who successfully complete 12-months in community languages schools program;
- Making it easier for smaller language groups to establish community language schools by reducing the minimum number of students required from 30 to 20;
- Establishing a Community Language Ambassador’s Program encouraging high profile individuals to promote the benefits of community language learning; and
- Creating a website to serve as a one-stop-shop for NSW Community Language Schools programs to provide information to parents, students and teachers.
“The Baird Government has worked in partnership with the community languages sector to develop this package of reforms to ensure community language schools continue to prosper into the future,” Mrs Jethi said.
“Multilingualism is a significant asset to our local community and community language schools across Baulkham Hills can be proud of their contribution towards building grassroots programs that are widely treasured across our community.
“Consistent with the aims of Communities United Through Language, the Baird Government will seek advice from the Community Languages Schools Board to determine how these new funds will be used to meet the needs of the community language schools programs.”
Further information about the Communities United Through Language reforms is available at: http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/what-we-offer/community-programs.