Migrants should be proud of themselves!

Humans are equal, so do the abilities. In the NAPLAN results announced this year, the local government is caught off guard when the literacy achievement of primary school students who speak languages other than English is outperforming native English speakers in spelling in some states. The surprising success story to emerge from this year’s NAPLAN results though has made migrants proud and serves a positive impact regarding humanity that every human being is equal and could potentially contribute to a certain cause.

What is NPLAN? The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual national assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. All students in these year levels are expected to participate in tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. To cap off a remarkable achievement by non-native people, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are also standout performers in reading and maths improvement over the past decade.

National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy_Kitson Migration

Although it is not the ideal picture that the government would want to see and be proud of, it is a timely wake-up call for policymakers to rethink on new strategies to buckle up the young generation’s qualities and capabilities. It is quite “amazing” to note that hundreds of children begin their first year of primary school in Australia speaking limited English, and in some cases no English at all. But by Year 3 they are outperforming native English speakers in spelling in New South Wales and Tasmania. Taking a general outlook on the overall achievement in most other states, children with a language background other than English are performing on par with native English speakers.

It is worth to take note that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children significantly during the past decade. In 2008, only 63.4 percent of Aboriginal students in Year 5 were meeting the minimum national benchmark in reading. Now, that figure has jumped to 75.5 percent. However, there are not all roses regarding the fresh achievement we see today. Writing scores have declined on average and reading gains have flatlined among high school students. In addition to that, there are also stark differences between boys’ and girls’ literacy results, with girls outperforming boys by a sizeable margin. According to a survey, 93.8 percent of girls nationally are achieving at national minimum standards in reading, compared to 89.6 percent of boys.


Improvement in NAPLAN results_kitson migration


Migrant families do not have to feel inferior to the native people when capabilities are concerned. They can learn things just as fast as the native, if not faster. In other words, they pose more than a mere mediocre figure when competency is concerned. When chances are equal, it is a fair playing ground for every single individual to shine and showcase their talents.