Call for more support for Gippsland students’ career and education planning
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has called on the Minister for Education to facilitate remote outreach programs for career planning and advice to improve educational outcomes for East Gippsland students.
Ms Bath’s call follows a visit to Orbost Secondary College where she met with students and year 12 coordinator Rob Clay to discuss how students were feeling about their next educational path.
“The concern highlighted to me was that these students were well behind their city counterparts in the amount of exposure and experiences they had had in regard to educational information sessions,” Ms Bath told the parliament.
“A round trip to Melbourne for these students is approximately nine hours by bus. As a result of Orbost’s location secondary students miss out on access to educational opportunities, such as course information days, open days, study revision lectures and career expos.”
Ms Bath said there was a need for more flexible delivery of information sessions via poly-conferences and web links and mini career expos in locations more easily accessed by regional and rural students.
She said it was well-known that a major inhibitor to rural students’ aspirational and educational outcomes was distance.
“Many of the students I spoke to commented that the high cost of university for rural students—particularly associated with living away from home - is an inhibiting factor to accessing further education,” Ms Bath said.
“It is difficult for students to broaden their horizons in terms of career opportunities when access to information is limited in most cases to a career course handbook, something which is so different to our city counterparts.
“My colleague the Member for East Gippsland Tim Bull has long been a champion for increasing educational opportunities in East Gippsland and ensuring country students are not left behind.”
The Gippsland MP said young people from non-metropolitan areas defer their university offers at twice the rate of their metropolitan counterparts with nearly 40 per cent failing to take up the offer after a year of deferment.
“It’s important the Government support rural students in accessing information on further education and career opportunities as well as providing assistance to overcome the barrier of distance to achieve their educational and career goals.”
Photo caption: Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath discusses future education and career pathways with Orbost Secondary College students.
Media Contact: Renee Switzer 5174 7066