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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (17 November) . .

Page.. 4011..

MS BERRY: That would be a decision for Spotless to make. I am not aware of anybody that has had their employment cease this week, but that would be a decision for the contractor, not the government.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, have CSD made any complaints or demands, or been made aware of any complaints or demands which have been made, which would lead to staff changes at Spotless?

MS BERRY: I am not aware of any instructions that have been provided to Spotless to change their employment arrangements. Again, that would be a decision for the employer to make.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, has Spotless been meeting its obligations under the total facilities management contract?

MS BERRY: As far as I am aware, they have.

Education—ICT training

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training I refer to the findings of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, ACARA, which suggest that Australia's level of computer literacy in years 6 and 10 is in decline and warrants serious attention. ACARA says that the decline is most noticeable in the ACT, with the ACT posting the single largest drop in achievement of any state or territory in both year 6 and year 10. Notwithstanding that the ACT's results were generally stronger than in other jurisdictions, to what do you attribute this significant decline in computer literacy in our schools?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question and also, in it, acknowledging that the ACT is generally stronger. Yes, there has been, in this report, a noticeable decline in these reporting frameworks. But it is also very clear that the ACT results are stronger than average. The report itself goes to some of why—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS BURCH: What they have put forward could be. Kids, students, are certainly using social media. They have access to smart phones and iPads. But it is important that we keep their focus on STEM training. Interestingly, in the same article, in the same newspaper, there was "Today's girls look to the future by mastering code". So there was another story in the same copy of the Canberra Times that promoted girls from Canberra Girls Grammar who are doing exceptionally well. It goes on to say that they speak four languages—HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP.

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