Deputy Prime Minister Attends Local Education Forum

The education forum was hosted by Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare MP and Federal Member for Banks, Daryl Melham MP.

Principals and student leaders from eighteen local schools spoke with the Deputy Prime Minister about a variety of subjects including the Labor Government’s Education Revolution, Trade Training Centres and her job as Deputy Prime Minister.

“It’s been a long time since we have had a Deputy Prime Minister visit our area. The fact that we had so many principals, teachers and students attend the education forum today during their school holidays demonstrates the importance of such a visit,” Mr Clare said.

Jihad Dib, the Principal of Punchbowl Boys High School, first met the Deputy Prime Minister at the 2020 Summit in April this year.

Julia Gillard was so impressed with Mr Dib, and his school’s many achievements, that she promised to visit Punchbowl Boys. Today she has made good on that promise.

Mr Dib said, “This is a great honour for Punchbowl Boys High School that recognises the wonderful achievements of the school community over the last few years.”

Mr Clare talked about Jihad Dib in his first speech, describing him as a local hero.

“Punchbowl Boys High was threatened with closure four years ago because the violence and disruption was so bad parents stopped sending their kids there. The school was failing. But under his leadership, a lot of hard work has turned that around.

“This year’s Year 7 is the biggest in 13 years. Enrolments have sprung up by 35 percent in just two years. And literacy improvements are three and a half times the State average,” Mr Clare said.

Michelle Omeros from St Euphemia College said “it was great to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and to hear first hand about the Education Revolution and the government’s plan to get industry standard training facilities into our schools. We will certainly be applying for funding in Phase Two.”

Trade Training Centres in Schools Program means that every Australian high school will have the opportunity to apply for funding of between $500,000 and $1.5 million to build industrial kitchens and industrial workshops.

Mr Clare also encouraged eligible schools to be part of the second round of the National Secondary School Computer Fund.

“Last month, 13 high schools in my electorate qualified for funding in round one. They will receive more than 2,260 computers, which is more than $2 million-more than almost any other electorate in Australia.”

The schools included:

Bass High School190
Birrong Boys High School132
Birrong Girls High School210
Cabramatta High School180
Canley Vale High School242
Chester Hill High School309
Punchbowl Boys High School85
PAL College38
La Salle Catholic College186
Patrician Brothers College322
Al Amanah Islamic College64
Bankstown Grammar School137
Malek Fahd Islamic School165

This funding will improve the computer-to-student ratio from 1:8 or worse to a national benchmark of 1:2.

Chris Zogopoulos
Phone: (02) 9790 2466