June 6, 2018

Arafura Swamp Rangers are preparing to join a new education program aimed at improving student numeracy and literacy through real world training.

The Learning on Country program involves students spending one to two hours a week learning skills through land management work with rangers.

It targets students who aren’t engaged through traditional education and aims to lead to meaningful employment at the end of a student’s school career.

The program has been piloted in four communities around the Northern Territory with celebrated success.

The pilot’s positive results has lead the Federal Government to expand the number of Learning on Country sites from four to seven, which will include Ramingining for the first time.

“We’re thrilled to be involved in a program that has made a huge difference to the lives of young people,” says Arafura Swamp Rangers chief executive officer Dominic Nicholls.

“The facts are there – this program offers both mainstream and cultural education and an opportunity for students to get out on country, to connect and learn from elders and community while expanding their skill base.

“It’s wonderful to see the government recognise Indigenous education.”

As a student progresses through Learning on Country, they can increase the number of units and eventually select it as an elective.

“The students graduate with a school certificate and with qualifications where they can work in land management, tourism and visitor management,” Mr Nicholls said.

“The program provides a space where you can get multiple outcomes.”

The Arafura Swamp Rangers will soon be looking for a Learning on Country coordinator to coordinate the work between the school and the rangers to deliver the program.