If the Closing the Gap Report was a school report, the government would get an F.
Of the seven targets, only one is on track to be met — year 12 attainment. And this is primarily because the rates for non-Indigenous attainment have not changed significantly… hardly a good news story for government.
The other six targets not on track are:
When the early childhood target for all remote Indigenous four year old’s was missed, the government revised the target instead of accounting for the failure. Rather than ensuring access to early childhood education in remote communities, the government set a new target for 95% of all Indigenous four-year-old’s to be enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.
But the statistics show the gap is in the Northern Territory and remote areas, with only 73% of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory attending preschool in the year prior to school, compared to 92% of Indigenous children nationally and 96% of non-Indigenous children nationally.
There are two possible conclusions from all these failings — the government’s policy approach to ameliorate Indigenous disadvantage is deeply flawed and/or the Closing the Gap policy is a mistake.
However, what’s the bet that come 2018, rather than abolishing the policy, the government simply revises the targets again?
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