One of the most crucial elements identified in the White Paper in terms of education is that we need to concentrate and strengthen ties with our regional counterparts. At ELTHAM College we have been strengthening these relationships for over a decade already, leaving us perfectly placed to respond to the Nations current focus.
Since 2000 we have directed attention to the importance of Asia, particularly China, for young people and the world into which they will graduate. We have worked to increase our direct schooling relationships with China and were amongst the first schools to set up a sister school relationship. Now we have several. We determined to increase our international students population, again mainly from China, to ensure that our local students learnt to work together and collaborate with people from non-western cultures.
We teach Mandarin from Prep to Year 12 and, for 2013, we have increased the time allotment of our Junior Years’ Mandarin teacher.
We have audited our curriculum to ensure that Chinese and Asian culture, history and their place in the world are being integrated into our curriculum. The wonderful thing about the Victorian curriculum is that such integration can occur and VCAA also has worked to ensure that Asia and the future of Australia are well covered.
We are global in our outlook and the way in which we develop the dispositions and skills of young people for life in an Asian Century.
The White Paper is very timely, but as with many aspects of 21st century education, ELTHAM has been leading the way. Acknowledgement in our curriculum and culture of Asia’s importance to the lives of young people is a demonstration of our strong belief in preparing young people for their future, not our past.
To find out more about our International student program, please visit international.elthamcollege.vic.edu.au/