Figures obtained by The Advertiser, have shown an alarming decline in student attendance, with almost half the school's 230 pupils not attending on a regular basis.
The one thing that was really noticeable when I went to Melbourne and Sydney earlier this year is that I didn't see kids roaming the streets or shopping areas during school time. What I did see were orderly school excursions. It didn't matter where I was, there were school excursions at art galleries, shopping centres, river and water areas, parks. The students were all orderly and quiet and the teachers appeared to be having a nice time in the company of their students. They were from primary to secondary age and private and state schools. Here you see a lot of parents with school age children during the school day and there are lots of students roaming around during school hours. Coober Pedy is not the only school which cannot get students in class in South Australia. The students have to be at school until they are 17 or in work or training. The numbers out of school are odd and mostly they are just sitting and eating or "hanging out" or shopping with a parent. There needs to be a requirement for students to be in school if the government thinks they should be there until 17 or it's eastern states advantage. I always thought it was my job as a parent to get kids to school and ensure they were there. I thought that was my responsibility the same as I thought it was my responsibility they did their school work. We had work routines and homework routines and then helplines when we were stuck. I saw that as part of my job as a parent. If only half the students are at school, then this school needs support from external agencies to persuade students it is in their interests to be in school. The more you learn the more you earn!