Aboriginal languages is set to enter the NSW education curriculum, the education minister announced Monday.
Andrea Booth

1 Dec 2015 - 9:50 AM  UPDATED 8 Dec 2015 - 4:50 PM

Aboriginal languages is set to become an HSC subject, NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said during a visit to Menindee Central School in the far west of the state Monday.

"There are approximately 35 Aboriginal languages in NSW, with 19 being taught across NSW, and more than 100 dialects. This new course will help maintain this critical part of Aboriginal cultures," Mr Piccoli said.

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Menindee Central School is one of 61 schools setting the example. It already teaches Paakantji language in the K-10 syllabus. But now it can provide students the opportunity to continue their study into senior high.

The new curriculum is part of the NSW Department of Education's Connected Communities strategy, which aims to improve education prospects for young Aboriginal people.

"This new course will help maintain this critical part of Aboriginal cultures"

NSW Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams said it was important that schools partner with their Aboriginal communities to ensure they received the expertise needed to carry out the course.

"This course will aid Aboriginal young people to become the future custodians and caretakers of their languages," she said. 

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Australia's Prime Minister has noted high attendance rates in remote Indigenous communities in far north Queensland as those communities implement strategies to improve education.

"For non-Aboriginal young people it will provide them with a deeper understanding of the world's oldest living culture."

The Aboriginal languages course is not calculated as part of students' Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).