View this email in your browser
2019 (41) 25 November

ET News Digest
Your Weekly Education Newsletter

Australia’s literacy woes demand fresh thinking
Many have tried many have failed, there have been any number of approaches to teaching literacy in Australia and most seem to have made little impact on the unacceptably bad level of teenage reading and writing skills.
   Nearly one in five Australian adolescents performs poorly in literacy – and that number is growing – so a rethink and a shift towards a more holistic approach could be in order.
Read more


Employers need to get involved in training youth
High youth unemployment is persistent and vocational training and strong connections between industry and education could be the way to get past it.
   Many industries are facing skills shortages and there is an increasing number of young workers, and particularly vulnerable young workers, who need jobs and career skills. The two don’t seem to be integrating and that is because youth face numerous barriers that are not addressed by existing services. Read more


Australia’s brightest young inventors go to NASA
Three of Australia’s brightest young inventors will be heading to NASA in the USA after being named national winners of Origin’s littleBIGidea competition.
   Selected from over 1000 entries, the winning ideas have been awarded for their creativity by a panel of experts including biomedical engineer and inventor, Dr Jordan Nguyen; 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year, Macinley Butson, and Anna Cain from Engineers Without Borders Australia.
   The winners will visit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Epcot Theme Park and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Read more


School children have too much phone time, not enough play time
Should the phone be banned in schools? A fraught question, but what can’t be denied is the number of kids glued to their screens while they’re doing just about everything, walking, riding the bus, waiting for a train, studying...
   An overwhelming majority of Australians (nearly 92%) believe smartphones and other media have reduced the physical activity levels and outdoor play time of children. Read more


Australian employers want more than a degree
It’s the end of the year and for another cohort that means thinking about a course and an ensuing career, it’s worth noting that there are changes in the employment landscape and what employers are looking for.
   A degree may no longer be enough in the eyes of an employer as organisations prioritise technical and soft skills.
   78% of business managers forecast it will be more challenging to find qualified professionals in the coming five years despite 68% of the employed population holding a qualification. Read more


A better future through food
When you think about it, most of what we do as people centres on food, it’s essential for life and how it is produced and consumed has huge implications for our future.
   OzHarvest is hoping to instill good food habits with its launch of a new education program called FEAST (Food Education and Sustainability Training). The curriculum aligned education program inspires kids to eat healthy food, waste less and become change-makers in their local communities.
   The 2018 FEAST pilot program trained 15 teachers and educated 384 students at four Western Sydney primary schools.
Read more


Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon promotes peer support
The Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon aims to raise awareness of the importance of connectedness, getting kids out walking and talking rather than staring at phones.
   Schools across the country will be hosting their own Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon which is a new nationwide initiative by Peer Support Australia.
   The Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon invites students to put down their phones, connect with their peers face to face and get some exercise. It’s a great platform to demonstrate the simplicity with which students can contribute to their wellbeing. Read more