The Mparntwe statement was developed after consultation with youth, educators, education and training providers, parents, businesses and industry across Australia. This is not to say that Mpartnwe`s new declaration plan for the Australian education system was undisputed. In particular, Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace expressed concern that „according to PISA`s results, there is a great risk of big changes when some data are questionable.“ The Education Statement by Alice Springs (Mparntwe) issued by the Board of Education on 12 December 2019 obliges the Australian education system to promote excellence and justice. The agreement also recognizes that all young Australians should have the opportunity to become confident and creative individuals, successful learners throughout life, and active and informed members of the community. Objective 1: The Australian education system promotes excellence and equity In addition to removing this specific educational gap, the broader Mpartnwe Statement is also an attempt to address the general shortcomings of the Australian education system over the past decade. In 2019, for the first time in two decades, the mathematical performance of Australian students in the OECD has gone from „over-the-average“ to „average.“ In response to the PISA results that determined this assessment, Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan MP called for a new „focus on mathematics, science and reading.“ To improve academic performance, the Board of Education noted that „Australian governments will continue to develop and improve national and school assessment with priorities: learning assessment, learning assessment and learning assessment.“ In December 2019, a historic meeting of education officials from across the country set out education goals and actions for the next decade. As we saw in our previous article, the effectiveness of the 2008 Melbourne Declaration has often been attacked, raising the question of whether Mpartnwe`s statement will make progress in improving Australia`s education system. Despite the introduction of the Melbourne Declaration in 2008, the Gonski report found that Australian student performance declined significantly between 2003 and 2015, undermining the Melbourne Declaration`s proposed goal of „all young Australians becoming successful learners.“ At present, it remains to be seen how the Mpartnwe Declaration will be integrated into schools and the wider educational community. The objectives of the Mpartnwe declaration certainly address issues that require an effective solution, such as the growing gap between ATSI and non-Aboriginal students.
But even education ministers have acknowledged the ambitious nature of the Mpartnwe declaration`s objectives, which will require resources and implementation plans for effective implementation. This statement was developed following extensive consultations with youth, educators, education and training providers, parents, businesses and industry as part of the review of the Melbourne Declaration across the country.