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The Federal Government committed to halving the literacy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students several years ago, but the latest report suggests there is still a long way to go.
The first progress report, compiled by the Council of Australian Government Reform Committee, shows that literacy among younger Indigenous students has improved, but five out of eight states and territories failed to meet literacy goals for Indigenous students in year nine.
Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, says there is both good news and bad news. 'While we are seeing some good improvements in things like year three reading, year five numeracy, we are seeing some drop off in the later years and clearly that's something which we expect education authorities will need to pay special attention to," he said.
Mr Garrett says the government is providing significant support to the states through the Smarter Schools and National Partnerships investments and targeting schools in lower socio-economic areas with more Indigenous students. He says he is hopeful that next year's figures will be better.