The 2016 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Preliminary Report was released today revealing there has been no significant improvement in those areas since 2015, despite record government funding. This is a preliminary report that has been categorized by state, and does not reveal results specifically related to literacy levels of children in Indigenous remote communities. Therefore we cannot comment on specifics. The final report will be released in December 2016.
Nevertheless, the fact that overall results show no change in literacy levels in children in Australia, indicate that our work, with our focus on early literacy in remote communities, is absolutely essential.
WHY IS THIS? There are many complex issues that impact on the results, and in most cases a combination of factors. These include issues of historical, health, social, and educational disadvantage. Even the simplest things, like quality reading materials and resources, items that we take for granted, are not present in many remote and very remote communities across Australia.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation's (ILF) approach to raising literacy levels starts at a community level. The focus is on early exposure to appropriate and quality books – through book supply – to homes and communities. We now supply book packs into more 230 – 250 remote communities and this number is increasing every year.
Our Book Buzz program is proving very effective and shows how providing young children (0-5 years old) with the right resources and in language, is a great start in developing pre-reading skills, much earlier than the schooling years.
The ILF support first language and culture, and work with community members to translate these books into first language. ILF supports the writing and publishing of community stories.
The challenges are immense and our Foundation is committed to taking sustainable steps to make a difference. There are strengths and challenges in each community, but the ILF continues to build relationships and find new ways to support communities according to what they need.
The funds and awareness raised by our donors are invaluable. You can help too by making a donation here