OUR SAY: ‘Money or school’ is no fair choice
THERE are many reasons why 17% of Year 10 students from the Fraser Coast never make it to Year 12, compared to 2% in Brisbane.
But you can bet your bottom dollar that a big part of the problem boils down to money.
Many Fraser Coast families are on reduced incomes so the lure of going out to work and being able to afford nice things immediately, rather than "in a few years", would be a big temptation for a teen.
It could also be that they feel they can't afford to go away to university because the cost of living out of home is so high - and they may find they can't do the course they want to do here, so they "may as well drop out".
And all the extra curricular activities that make school enjoyable add up financially. If you could not afford to go on the fun trips with your classmates, it would be easy to become disillusioned about school.
What can be done about it? Well, increased funding for regional schools would help, as highlighted in the Gonski recommendations.
With more education options available locally, and more funding given to schools to provide the "little extras" to keep kids engaged, it stands to reason that our rate of Year 12 completion would also rise.
Our children deserve to have the choice to stay in education on the Fraser Coast, without financial pressure.
Have your say on the topic and join the discussion below.