20 May 2021

NSW students quiz minister on education priorities

NSW students quiz minister on education priorities

A group of NSW children took their concerns about mobile phones, consent education, resources, and behaviour management to the Education Minister yesterday.

School children from across NSW sat down with the NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell inside the Legislative Council as members of the Minister’s Student Council.

The newly formed council, also known as DOVES (Department of Student Voices in Education and Schools), comprises 24 students – three from each of the eight regions across NSW.

Nirvana Prasad, 16, from Girraween High School in western Sydney wants to foster “more kindness in schooling” through peer support groups, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“In kindergarten, we’re taught sharing is caring, but as we grow up that kind of fades away,” Nirvana said. “We’re taught how to make a living but not how to live.”

Amelia Whyman, 13, attends Wilcannia Central School, in the state’s far west, and she wants First Nations voices from the country to be heard.

“Sometimes where I live we get blocked out, and they don’t listen to us,” Amelia, who gave an acknowledgement of country in Barkindji language, said.

Sixteen-year-old Sydney Secondary College student Ned Graham wants to improve behaviour management so his peers don’t fall through the cracks.

Charli Grant, 15, from Brisbane Water Secondary College on the Central Coast wants educators to focus on low-socioeconomic areas.

Ms Mitchell said she was thrilled with how the council has progressed, claiming it was the first initiative of its kind in Australia.