The new school year has started with a massive increase in attendance in Walgett, with the number of students participating in the Remote Schools Attendance Strategy (RSAS) jumping from 98 to 112.
RSAS, a program that provides mentoring, transport and essential school items to help kids get to - and stay in - school, is delivered by MPREC in Walgett and other remote areas.
RSAS takes a collaborative approach, working with both the school and other NGOs in the town. Improved communication this year has already seen an increase in attendance from all participants in the RSAS program: the 98 students involved in term 1 last year achieved 51% attendance, while the 112 participants are on track to achieve 67% attendance in the same period of 2017.
Students are encouraged to maintain high attendance with weekly reward lunches for students with 100% attendance each week. At the end of 2016 15-20 students were regularly attending these lunches. Already in 2017 there has been a massive increase, with 41 students attending in week 3 and an unprecedented 57 students attending in week 4. Those involved in managing the program say it’s great to see students supporting each other to attend school and classes.
Staff go above and beyond to support kids to get to school regularly - for one student at least - even making wake up visits on their rounds! One day, after receiving no answer at this student’s home on their regular rounds, the team continued to school only to find that the student was already awake, ready and at school. As he said, “I’m too quick for you fellas today!”
For more information on the MPREC's RSAS Program
The RSAS initiative is proudly funded/supported by the Australian Government.