Last week the Education Minister gave a speech in Parliament regarding the importance of S.T.E.M. Education saying, ‘we want more Queensland students to pursue the subjects that will set them up for the jobs of the future.’ During his follow-up speech in Parliament, State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle urged the Minister to follow her own recommendations when considering a petition to fast-track Baringa’s S.T.E.M. High School.
“During Parliament last week, I gave a speech in the House about the recent Baringa High School petition, saying;
“I tabled two petitions this week signed by 1,500 people calling on the government to construct Baringa State High School to be opened for the 2020 school year. I want to congratulate Deborah Hardie, the principal petitioner as she was the driving force behind the petitions,” Mr McArdle
“Yesterday, the Minister for Education stated, ‘Baringa State Primary School is our first S.T.E.M. school of excellence.' We therefore agree on the point that Baringa State Primary School is a school of excellence.
“Yet we find that the government will build a secondary school at Baringa to open in 2021 knowing full well that children will move to grade 7 in 2020. Those children will need to go to another school and transition back to the Baringa High School in 2021 which raises a number of issues.
“Firstly, children will attend a school that was not purpose built as a S.T.E.M. school. Secondly, children will be separated from friends they have made at their current school. Thirdly, the curriculum at the new school, though good, will not mirror what would be taught at a purpose-built S.T.E.M. school.
“The education minister is in the House tonight. I ask her to consider her response to the petition carefully. I ask that she considers the children and parents who will be impacted by her response. The minister and I share an understanding of S.T.E.M. and appreciate that it is critical that there is continuity in terms of the place of education for these children.
“Deborah Hardie has fought this battle. I ask the Minister to acknowledge that and bring forward construction of the Baringa State High School so that it opens for the commencement of the school year in 2020.”
“The Minster strongly supports S.T.E.M., I want her to strongly support Baringa State High School,” Mr McArdle concluded.