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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

EDUCATION, LEARNING AND SKILLS

EARLY LEARNING

Early childhood learning can include participation in unstructured (informal) learning activities that occur outside an institutional setting, and formal learning activities provided through structured preschool programs. According to the 2008 NATSISS, almost all (97%) of the 24,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4–5 years were reported to have participated in a range of informal learning activities with their main carer in the week before the survey. The majority (90%) of children had watched TV, videos or DVDs, 82% had participated in reading activities, 72% in musical activities, 69% in creative activities such as drawing and writing, and 66% in playing indoor or outdoor sports. Four in ten (41%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4–5 years, were reported to be usually attending preschool, with similar rates of attendance in non-remote and remote areas (table 3.22).


3.22 REPORTED PRESCHOOL ATTENDANCE, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4–5 years—2008
Non-remote areas
Remote areas
Australia
%
%
%

Preschool attendance(a)
41.3
41.2
41.2
no.
no.
no.
Preschool attendance
7 400
2 800
10 200
Total children aged 4–5 years
18 000
6 700
24 700

(a) Difference between non-remote and remote rate is not statistically significant.

Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.


STAYING IN SCHOOL

Between 2000 and 2010, the apparent retention rate for full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Years 7/8 (the first year of secondary school) to Year 10 improved from 83% to 96%, while at the Year 12 level, the increase was from 36% to 47% over the same period (graph 3.23). For more information on apparent retention rates, see chapter 12 EDUCATION AND TRAINING.

3.23 APPARENT RETENTION RATES, YEAR 7/8 TO YEAR 12, Full-time school students



Reflecting increasing apparent school retention rates, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who had completed Year 12 increased from 18% in 2002 to 22% in 2008 (graph 3.24).

3.24 HIGHEST YEAR OF SCHOOL COMPLETED, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderpeople aged 15 years and over(a)—2002 and 2008



In 2008, Year 12 completion rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were higher in non-remote areas (24%) than in remote areas (16%). Year 12 completion rates were also higher among younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, ranging from 30% of those aged 25–34 years to 7% of those aged 55 years and over (graph 3.25).

3.25 YEAR 12 COMPLETION BY AGE, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over



CONTINUING EDUCATION

According to the 2008 NATSISS, almost all (98%) of the 127,200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5–14 years were reported to be usually attending school. Of the 59,300 youths aged 15–19 years, 60% were studying (46% in a secondary school and 14% at a tertiary institution such as a university, TAFE or business college). For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students aged 15–19 years, support from family, friends and school (81%), career guidance (30%) and greater access to apprenticeships (23%) were the most commonly reported factors that would enable them to complete Year 12.

In 2008, an estimated 23,900 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–19 years (40%) were not studying. One in ten (10%) had completed Year 12 or a higher qualification while the remaining 30% had not. Among those aged 15–19 years who were not studying in 2008, just over two-thirds (69%) said they intended to undertake some study in the future (76% in non-remote areas compared with 45% in remote areas).

Around one in six (16%) of the 44,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 20–24 years were studying at a tertiary institution in 2008. A further 35% had completed Year 12 or a higher qualification, and 49% had not completed Year 12 (and were not studying).


ENGAGING IN WORK AND STUDY

In 2008, just over half (54%) of the 103,800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 15–24 years were fully engaged in work and/or study (i.e. they were either in full-time work, full-time study, or a full-time equivalent combination of work and study). This was an increase from 47% in 2002. Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males were more likely than females to be fully engaged in work and/or study (60% compared with 48%). This pattern is similar to that in the non-Indigenous population (86% of males compared with 78% of females) (National Health Survey, 2007–08 (4364.0)). Partly reflecting easier access to jobs and educational institutions, young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to be fully engaged in work and/or study (58% compared with 41%).


EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

Literacy and numeracy skills

Data from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) show that in 2010, just over three-quarters (77%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 7 students met or exceeded the national minimum standards for reading, 70% for writing, and 77% for numeracy (graph 3.26). When compared with the results for non-Indigenous Year 7 students, these proportions were 19 percentage points lower for reading and numeracy, and 24 percentage points lower for writing.

3.26 YEAR SEVEN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN LITERACY AND NUMERACY(a), By Indigenous status



Non-school qualifications

In 2008, 40% of the 207,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25–64 years had attained a non-school qualification, an increase from 32% in 2002. This increase was mainly due to more women and men attaining Certificates III/IV – up by 7 and 3 percentage points respectively, when compared with 2002.

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25–64 years, similar proportions of men and women had attained a non-school qualification (41% compared with 39%). However, partly reflecting the location of tertiary institutions and the availability of jobs that utilise tertiary qualifications, attainment rates varied by remoteness. The likelihood of having a non-school qualification was lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote areas – 26% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25–64 years in remote areas had a non-school qualification, compared with 45% in non-remote areas.

Among the 83,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25–64 years who had a non-school qualification in 2008, 16% had a Bachelor degree or higher qualification, 14% had attained an Advanced diploma/Diploma and 61% had completed a Certificate qualification (including 40% with a Certificate level III/IV). Women were more likely than men to have attained an Advanced diploma/Diploma (17% compared with 10%). However, men were more likely than women to have attained a Certificate III/IV qualification (46% compared with 36%) (graph 3.27).

3.27 HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION, by sex - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-64 years

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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