Life-long learning should be the focus of revised Melbourne Declaration, ACPET says

by Freya Lucas

February 25, 2019

Australia’s goals for education should embrace a commitment to life-long learning, to equip people for the changing nature of work, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has said, outlining the position it took when meeting with other stakeholders, including Early Childhood Australia (ECA), to discuss a revision of the Melbourne Declaration.

 

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, an underpinning document of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and My Time, Our Place (MTOP), was written in 2008, and the forum, hosted by the Education Council, was held to consider what improvements could be made to cover:

 

  • The importance of early learning

 

  • The changing nature of education, the economy and work

 

  • Increasing the need for life-long learning

 

  • Renewed emphasis on vocational education and training

 

  • Renewed focus on equity

 

  • The importance of a smooth and carefully planned transition.

 

The two core goals of the Melbourne Declaration are that Australian schooling (including early learning) promotes equity and excellence, and that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.

 

“Many of today’s jobs didn’t exist thirty years ago. In thirty years’ time many of the jobs that will be around then don’t exist today. As we review the Melbourne Declaration it’s important that we embrace life-long learning” said Troy Williams, ACPET CEO, emphasising the importance of reviewing the Declaration to encompass all stages of the learning journey, starting with the early years.

 

ECA CEO, Samantha Page, said it was a privilege to participate in the forum on behalf of ECA, and that there appeared to be good support for more emphasis on early education and early learning, as well as on keeping equity as a central goal.

 

Ms Page added a desire to see the Declaration “move from the current concept of children becoming citizens to children as citizens from birth becoming confident, active and engaged in their communities” as well as the inclusion of social and emotional development in the objectives for education and schooling.

 

The period of consultation about the update will occur over the next 12 months, and more information can be found here.

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