GIFTED AND TALENTED
PROGRAMS — CHINESE STUDENTS
1267. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the Minister for Education
I refer to the selective program for
gifted Chinese students.
(1) Why is the McGowan Labor
government giving special consideration to one ethnic group over others?
(2) How many Western Australian
students will be displaced from elite schools by this new program?
I thank the member for the question.
will answer the second part first. The additional positions are up to 15 per
year at schools that have the capacity. This is on top of—and does not
replace—gifted and talented programs for Western Australian students,
so no Western Australian student will be displaced. If a school does not have
capacity to take the students, the school will not take the students.
With respect to the first question, a
range of policies are being developed for international students at public
schools. I will preface my answer by saying this. We have taken fee-paying
international students at Western Australian public schools, primary and
secondary, since 1984—there is nothing new about that. In respect of
this ''selective'' program, we have identified China as the key
market. We have been approached by representatives from Chinese education
agents, who have been seeking this. In addition, of course, we have really
strong relationships with China. Indeed, it is our biggest trade partner and we
are keen to extend the number of students who come from China to study in our
universities. One way of doing that is to give them the experience of studying
in Western Australia before they make a decision about which university they
might go to. This is one way of doing that.