Top marks for local schools

WHILE enjoying a two-week break recently (and thank you Jennie Dell for donning the editor's hat in my absence) I had the pleasure of attending a performance at the Sydney Opera House where my daughter and others from her school took part in a concert designed to highlight music programs in state schools across NSW.

The Dunoon School marimba band performs regularly around the region, but the opportunity to play at the Opera House is one that I'm sure those kids will never forget.

Students from several other small schools from around the region including Wyrallah, Coffee Camp, Blakebrook, Modanville and Bexhill also performed as part of a massed choir (see story page 6).

Meanwhile students from St Carthages in Lismore have been crowned national champions for the Tournament of Minds competition, which is designed to get kids problem solving and performing in teams. After progressing through the regional competition, the kids travelled to Sydney for the state final and Perth for the grand final (see story page 3).

It seems kids in our little country schools are punching above their weight and being exposed to opportunities that would make them the envy of other schools across the country.

While my experience with the local public education system has been nothing but positive, we also have a story this week on people who choose to educate their kids at home (see page 7).

With the recent news reports from Pakistan about a schoolgirl being shot by the Taliban for campaigning for education for girls, it is worth remembering how good we've got it.

I applaud Julia Gillard's recent pledge to make Australian schools in the top five for reading, science and maths by 2025.

Education is the future. If only Barry O'Farrell realised it...

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