Regional schools share in $2.5 million injection

Orbost Secondary College will receive $100,000 under the Victorian Coalition Government’s ‘Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund’ for their 'Linking Schools through Technology' program, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today.

"The program, developed in partnership with Lakes Entrance, Cann River, Mallacoota, Swifts Creek and Bairnsdale Secondary Colleges, explores a range of video-conferencing enhancement programs that will optimise ways of improving retention and curriculum options for Years 9 to 12.

“Students who attend school longer increase their life choices greatly.  By acquiring a trade, skill, or going on to higher education, they dramatically increase their work choices and opportunities and contribute to our society,” Mr Bull said.

Heather Macalister, principal, Orbost Secondary College said, “this is exciting news for the schools involved in the project, with the potential to truly allow students in our schools to see themselves as global citizens.” 

“We are really pleased that our commitment has been recognised and that we will be better placed to work together to ensure that students in East Gippsland get the greatest opportunities through schools optimising resources available to them.

“This initiative follows on from the work that the partner schools have been doing around pilot projects to support the learning of our students.  These range from delivering Science enrichment to year 9 students, linked video conference in real time with divers on the Great Barrier Reef and VCE Physics from one school to another,” Ms Macalister said.

Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, in making the announcement said “while the number of metropolitan students finishing school is going up, the Government wants to ensure the same opportunities are available to rural and regional students.”

“Almost nine out of 10 metropolitan students are finishing school, but nearly a third of country students are leaving school early, and these new grants are a step toward addressing this issue.”

“I am really keen to see the success of these retention programs as they are rolled out across Victoria,” Mr Dixon said.

“It is this government’s belief that schools are the ones best placed to determine what measures will be most effective for their students and I think the community will agree as graduating students become active members of the community and valuable contributors to the local economy.”