Refugees are being given a boost in education in Australia’s largest country by offering them access to free school books, posters and other educational materials, as part of the country’s first child refugee educational credit scheme.
Key points:Children who have been in Australia for less than two years and have lived in the country for four years are eligible to receive $2,000 in creditChildren with disabilities can apply for $1,000 to $1.5 millionThe scheme was launched on Monday, after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the scheme in SeptemberThe scheme, which was first announced in September, is aimed at helping the most vulnerable children who have fled their countrys borders, by offering free textbooks, posters, video games, music and other school materials to children in Australia who are currently in school.
Children who are at least 18 years old and who live in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland are eligible for the scheme, as well as anyone who has been in the US for less of a time than four years.
The scheme is aimed to help refugees who have spent a considerable amount of time in Australia and are not able to return home due to safety concerns.
“The government recognises that children’s access to education is crucial for the wellbeing of the community, for the economy, and for the welfare of the individual,” Education Minister Simon Birmingham said in a statement.
“We are committed to ensuring that children can access education when they arrive in Australia, with the full support of our community.”
The scheme will be administered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and funded by the Commonwealth.
In a statement, the Government said it was working with local school boards, the Australian Council for Child Development and the Victorian Government to ensure the scheme was tailored to the needs of children in the most disadvantaged areas of the state.
“It is an important milestone in Australia becoming a truly world-class nation that provides opportunities for all,” Education Secretary Scott Morrison said in the statement.
“This is the first credit that children who were in Australia four years ago can access and enjoy, and it will provide vital support to thousands of children.”
The ABC has contacted the federal government for comment.