Experts in Indigenous education are saying that current institutions are failing to Close the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous education and that it will take a long time before any real change is felt.

UQ Principal Researcher into Indigenous education Marnee Shay, said there is a clear divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous education.

“It’s a multi-faceted issue and you could look at it from lots of different ways, is the curriculum serving Indigenous students?

Is the way classrooms are being run working for Indigenous students?

Do school structures work for Indigenous students?

You could look at it in lots of different ways, but just from the data alone we know that schools aren’t serving Indigenous students in the way that they are serving non-Indigenous students,” she said.

The calls come after the federal government announced on Monday this week that they would be setting aside $424 million to address Indigenous disadvantage across health services, infrastructure, education and social care.

Shay said that in order to mark off gaps in education the government needs to address other points of disadvantage as well.

“Everything is so connected and interrelated, I’d like to see less duplication of things, more areas working together, a more coordinated approach and a more local approach as well.

I know a lot of our people have been talking for many years about the importance of having local decision making, local governance, and local ideas being of great importance if we’re talking about change, and schools are very much a part of that.”

Shay continued to say that even if the funding was successful, it will take time before the change takes effect.

“If the money is used more effectively than it has been in the past, we may see some changes, but I do think that it will still be some time before we see some improvements.

Image Credit: Liz Marie