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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Media Release: Schools of the Air Critical to the Outback

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Press Release

President of the NTCA, Tom Stockwell, paid tribute to the staff and students of the iconic 'Schools of the Air' in Alice Springs and Katherine as they hold their end of year functions, and in the shadows of the unbelievable decision of the WA government to close their sister schools in the west.

“Territorians could not imagine or tolerate a similar situation in the NT” Mr Stockwell said.

'Schools of the Air' are part of the glue that hold the remote communities together as children grow up and are taught at home by parents and governesses, and have 'on-air' lessons from teachers over the magnificent IDL or Interactive Distance Learning Satellite Internet service from the NT Education department.

Most important for the kids however is the few visits to school in town where they get to spend time with their teachers and class mates.

“The School of the Air community is absolutely critical for the remote kids who don’t get the same chances to play team sports or share in school activities like town kids” added Tom’s wife Bev who schooled their 3 children though Katherine School of the Air (KSA).

"The quality of the education provided is evidenced by how well KSA students do when they by necessity go away to boarding schools for secondary education”, Bev added.

Over generations the schools have educated bush kids, and been central to life long friendships and community support and learning in a challenging remote environment.

Family life in the outback of the NT would be unthinkable without the Schools of the Air.

ENDS.

For comment please contact the NTCA Darwin office on 08 8981 5976

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