13 November 2023

I'm very pleased to read out part of a speech prepared for the Raise Our Voice competition, written by Cathy Gao from the Hawkesbury, about how to make Australia a better place for future generations.

She says:

Imagine a future where all students can apply what they have learned. Many more people can be inventors and scientists, discovering, creating, and using the power of knowledge to fix the huge pile of issues the world is currently facing.

It all starts in the assessment tasks in schools. They need to be more skill based, instead of simply based on testing what people know. We need to teach people to connect and use their knowledge, not just learn it and forget.

Currently, many people study for exams the night before in the hopes of getting high marks, and that's all. People forget what it means to learn, and just do all they can to get better scores. I am not saying knowledge isn't important. But knowledge by itself is not meaningful unless the person has the skills to interpret and apply it. I would like it to be mandatory for all assessments to contain a skill based component, which will test the students on the fundamental skills in the subject, and ability to apply their knowledge.

That's what Cathy's written. I want to thank Cathy for her contribution and for thinking through the issues that affect her, and I thank all the other students who submitted speeches for the Raise Our Voice competition. It's a great thing to do, and I look forward to next year's contributions.

Watch this speech in Parliament here