The Australian Federal Government recently announced plans for a new national curriculum. Each state and territory currently have its own curriculum, so moving between states can be harmful for children, and comparing different states is difficult. The new curriculum streamlines Australia’s education system and is in line with the Work Plan so that schools are accountable for their work.
One of the main areas that should be addressed in the australian curriculum school in Singapore is the literacy crisis Australia is facing. The Australian Board of Governors published a report in 2009 detailing the extent of the literacy problem in Australia (National Skills and Labor Development Agreement: 2008 Performance Comparison Report). The following observations were made: A relatively high percentage of working-age Australians have literacy and arithmetic skills below the minimum level necessary to meet the complex requirements of work and modern life: 43.5% for literacy and 49.8% for arithmetic. The proportion of the working-age population with low literacy and calculation skills decreases as the socio-economic situation improves.
The Importance of Phonetics
Children in Australia have not received the instructions necessary to develop literacy skills for approximately 15 years. The reason for this was to move away from teaching phonetics or destroying the sounds that make up a word to learning complete words. It was believed that children will learn to pronounce and pronounce words using the memory and context of the word. Scientists and lead authors told parents and teachers “just to read to their children, and they will learn to write, use grammar and read.”