MP lobbies for school program and new hall
A PROGRAM focused on supporting girls and encouraging school attendance will be introduced to Murgon and Cherbourg next year.
Education minister Grace Grace looked at different facilities for the Girl's Academy during her first visit to the towns on November 20.
"They measure their attendance, so they make sure they are improving that attendance which is the key towards them not only engaging in school, but enjoying it, and seeing them beyond school as well,” she said.
The girl's academy will follow a similar framework to the boy's program Clontarf, which has been very successful in the Murgon and Cherbourg community.
"They work with the schools, they work intensively with the student, and they have a separate space where the students can hang out,” Ms Grace said.
"They have incentives, a lot of it is around sport, or the types of things they like and they have areas they can meet and have breakfast and lunch, or enjoy each other's company.”
The boy's program in Murgon and Cherbourg has produced some impressive results, with a 20 per cent increase in attendance within three years.
"We want to take that now, bring it into the girl's academy and do the same with girls,” she said.
The minister went to the Cherbourg council chambers, and met with the Cherbourg elders to discuss how the community could encourage school attendance.
"I wanted to see first hand how the community, the families and the schools are working together to improve attendance,” she said.
Ms Grace visited Murgon and Cherbourg State Schools, Murgon State High School and the Cherbourg Early Childhood Education centre during her trip.
"We really just wanted to come out and see the schools, see if there's any particular needs the school has,” she said.
"I also wanted to be sure we have a facility available for the girls academy.”
She said she would lobby for a new hall for Murgon State High School to give the students a sufficient space to hold events and parades.
"I think it's a bit inadequate, so we are going to see what we can do about getting an indoor sports facility, performing centre, similar to the one we opened up recently in Kingaroy,” Ms Grace said.
Murgon State High School will not require a building the size of Kingaroy State High School, but Ms Grace has inspected possible locations and will look at the budget.
"We hopefully might be able to do something with Murgon fairly soon,” she said.