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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 September 2017) . . Page.. 3633 ..

Some other examples of STEM-related CIT partnerships and activities include a formal partnership with renewable energy providers and a number of school-based STEM programs. CIT forensic science partners with the Australian Federal Police and the University of Canberra to provide training for police forces from Thailand, Indonesia, Iraq and various other countries. CIT forensic science also has a partnership with the Canvas Network to host a massive open online course in biometric technologies. There are partnerships with a number of IT industries to provide internships, higher apprenticeships and employment opportunities for students. CIT and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment partner as higher education providers to offer a nationally recognised qualification for the games and virtual world industries.

Education—Koori preschools

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, you have consistently stated that Koori preschools are helping to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous children. The evaluation report by the University of Sydney released in August shows that there is no evidence to support this claim. Furthermore, there are no agreed measures of student outcomes for the Koori preschool program, and KPIs have not been developed or mandated. Minister, how can you assert that Koori preschools are making a difference to the educational outcomes of Indigenous children?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Milligan for the question. I continue to support Koori preschools in the ACT, having regard to the support that they provide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children. There are a number of reports that show how much of a difference it makes to a child’s learning in preschool and future years when they have more than one year of preschool education. The Koori preschools provide two years of preschool education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the ACT; that has proven to be of benefit, and it is being called for.

Mr Steel spoke about this in his adjournment speech on Tuesday evening, when he talked about a report that he was a part of producing that calls for increased preschool education for young people, because the evidence is there, the research supports it, and it is what early childhood educators have been saying for decades: the benefits of early childhood education in preschool on a child’s future learning.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, when will you establish agreed measures of outcomes?

MS BERRY: We are currently developing a strategy in the ACT for early childhood education that will also feed into the strategy for the future of education that will consider what education will look like in the ACT over the next 10 years. Part of that discussion will include the kinds of supports needed for early childhood educators to make sure they can provide the best quality early childhood education and how the sector can support young people into their future education.

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