Yolngu Online School
“What are we going to do now? I keep my children at home and teach them real manners, law, and respect. I know if they come to the community school they will only learn to be lawless adults. They will hardly learn to read and write, as I did school in the mission days, so I keep them at home and teach them real things. Now I’m forced by the government to send them where they will learn to be rebellious,” a Yolŋu parent lamented as the Federal Government introduced truancy officers into one of the Arnhem Land communities, 2014.
Many Yolŋu parents desperately want their children to get a good education. But they have few options. The current mainstream schooling system offers them little real hope despite many trying. Lack of good culturally competency and cross-cultural communication skills leave many Yolŋu students struggling to learn and traumatised. This system destroys both the teacher and the students’ potential.
To solve the problem we could fully train teachers in language and good cultural competency and communication skills. Despite the massive saving to government budgets and great outcomes that would produce no one seems to want to do this.
The other solution, which Why Warriors has been wanting to develop over the last 10 years now, is an online school. Produce a Yolŋu school, that once developed it can go on delivering real effective Yolŋu friendly education for many decades.
This would bring the full power of Yolŋu language and culture into play. Putting Yolŋu children in a Yolŋu friendly learning environment. It could be used by Yolŋu parents as a self-learning resource or by the mainstream schools to turbo charge the classroom education.
Yolŋu students of all ages will learn how to read and write in both their original Australian own language (Yolŋu Matha) and English. All instruction will be Yolŋu Matha so the student does not get lost. It will also teach maths, world history and science, in Yolŋu Matha and English through to university level. It will be a tool through which Yolngu communities can control and drive their learning experience, combining the best of traditional and contemporary knowledge.
Pilot Learning Portal
With the assistance of a federal government grant, Why Warriors has developed a pilot learning portal to demonstrate the potential of the online school concept.
If you visit the site, open up one of the modules and put your cursor over the top of the words. If you have the sound enabled on your computer, you will hear the sounds of the words and the syllables in both Yolŋu Matha and English.
When the platform was trailed with Yolngu, the uptake was phenomenal, with young teenagers fighting to get access to the computers it was trailed on.
The program now needs to be taken to the next level of development, both in its structure and content.
Why Warriors on behalf of many Yolŋu parent are looking for private partners to help us build this online Yolŋu School.
Want to make a difference to Yolŋu schooling, please contact us now.
Call 1300 501 795 if you have any questions.