Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC)
Scholarships to target declining male teacher numbers.
Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) May 3, 2004
Scholarships to target declining male teacher numbers
The Federal Government will offer 500 scholarships as part of a million-dollar push to introduce more male role models into primary schools.
The scholarships are worth $2,000 each and will be on offer to male students at the end of the first year of their undergraduate teaching program.
Legislation enabling the male-only scholarships has yet to pass through Parliament.
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson says the number of male teachers has dropped by 5 per cent over the last decade.
"The most important influence in the lives of our children, apart from us as parents, is their teachers," he said.
"And if we've got our sons and daughters who are being taught only by one gender, then we risk creating a future where young men feel inadequately prepared for life."
The Queensland Teachers Union has cautiously welcomed the plan.
Union president Julie-Ann McCullough says research shows it is the quality of the teacher and not their sex which determines the educational benefit to students.
"We'd certainly like to see more details about what the scholarships would entail," she said.
"We certainly believe there is a whole raft of areas that the Federal Government should focus on, [with] regards [to] recruitment and encouragement into the educational workforce, and of course promotion."
2004 Australian Broadcasting Corporation