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Regional Schools vs City Schools

SandyBy Sandy Bauer – Country to Canberra Teen Blogger

A recent question brought up for discussion during the HeyWire 2017 Regional Youth Summit was ‘Will regional schools ever be able to give country students the same opportunities as their city cousins?’

Well, I’ve got a few things to say on this matter.

I can relate to this topic having completed from year one to year twelve through distance education, which can be classified as a ‘regional school’. Throughout my schooling the government (through funding), and my teachers, always did the best to find ways to be able to give country students the same opportunities as our city cousins.

They are able to do this through out-sourcing teachers, sometimes from the city, that teach particular subjects from different schools, to be able to provide a wider range of subject choices to country children.

The schools do their best to team up with organisations to provide the students with state and overseas trips – enabling them to to expand their interests and knowledge regarding the history of particular places. By partnering with other organisations they are able to provide these trips to students and their families at affordable prices.

When I attended year twelve through NTOEC (Northern Territory Open Education Centre) the school offered me the opportunity to go on an overseas trip to Cambodia at a reasonable price. This trip was a ‘schoolies alternative,’ we spent almost two weeks over in two different parts of Cambodia, exploring markets, learning history and building houses to help the Tabitha Foundation.

Other organisations that help individual students to go above and beyond their interests and dreams is the ICPA (Isolated Children’s Parents Association) – they are constantly providing the students with bursaries through different companies such as ‘Elders’ and ‘Landmark’ to assistprovide aspiring students with funds to help them go further with their hobbies or study.

The downside that regional schools have is the fact that they are not able to provide extra learning opportunities on the spot.

City schools are able to send their students to different schools a certain day of the week so that they are able to do other studie,s such as trades. They are also able to provide students with a wide range of sporting activities due to having the facilities readily available. Whereas, country schools are only able to provide a ‘limited’ number of sports that students are able to excel at on a more local level.

I do believe that it wouldn’t be hard for country regional schools to be able to give exactly the same opportunities as our city cousins, however regional schools need to be provided with extra funding, to be able to further outsource different subjects and provide students with ‘additional’ learning areas and abilities.

When it comes to regional country schools I believe ‘you get out of it what you put into it.’

Therefore, if there are always organisations and teachers who care about improving how their country schools run compared to city schools – than there will always be changes and improvements to the system which continues to offer fantastic opportunities for regional kids.