Story Courtesy of The Express Newspaper. By Justin Fris
MAREEBA State School hosted a residential workshop for the Remote Area Teacher Education Program last Wednesday.
A program designed to give more indigenous students an opportunity to gain a career in education, RATEP again looks to play a major role in not only Mareeba, but our region as a whole.
Students who undertake the program are given vital theory and practical experience, while being able to remain local to their community and family.
Program stakeholders presented an overview of the program within the school library, which was filled with interested and intuitive people.
Successful entrants to the program are able to complete various certificate or diploma courses at TAFE during their on the job training, with the opportunity to follow on with a bachelor of education at James Cook University.
RATEP Diploma Coordinator Mark Linkson said over 250 applications had been submitted across the state for admittance into the program, with solid participation in the Far North, particularly in Ravenshoe.
Currently, 32 per cent of Mareeba State School’s students are indigenous. With support from RATEP and Mandy Whybird (Mareeba SS School Principal), the students are heading in the right direction.
Mrs Whybird, who spent time in Weipa and the Torres Strait as a principal and teacher, understands the importance of indigenous culture.
She said the RATEP program was a phenomenal experience for all involved and the school was committed to assisting more indigenous students in their transition to an education-based career.