Tony Koch; 6/3/10
The two schools that have adopted a radical competency-based learning program in Cape York have encountered teething problems, with teachers leaving because they are unhappy. In the six weeks since school resumed, eight of the 20 teachers at Aurukun on western Cape York have left and one of the four in Coen has transferred to another school. The learning program is the brainchild of Aboriginal social reform advocate Noel Pearson, who lobbied government to introduce the US-based academy system in an effort to accelerate the learning levels of Aboriginal children, particularly those on remote communities. He pointed out, for instance, that very few children entering mainstream high school had a genuine competency level of even grade 4 or 5.