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The ‘concerning’ gap in Australian teenagers’ basic knowledge

Article image for The ‘concerning’ gap in Australian teenagers’ basic knowledge

Australian teenagers have a “concerning” gap in their basic knowledge, a nation-wide test has revealed.

The Civics and Citizenship Assessment, run by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority every three years, reveals most teenagers lack the basic knowledge about politics, democracy, and Australia’s government and legal system.

The latest survey results found just 38 per cent of Year 10 students are deemed proficient in political and legal affairs.

David de Carvalho, CEO of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, says it’s a problem.

“That’s quite concerning, particularly for Year 10 students who, in a couple of years, are going to be going and voting in elections,” he told Ross and Russel.

“The level of knowledge about the political process and how our courts work, and how the different levels of government take responsibility for different aspects of our government, that knowledge is on the decline.

“They are not going to the mainstream media as much, or showing as much interest in those wider issues than previous cohorts of students.”

But Mr de Carvalho says the results aren’t all bad.

“On the upside, however, there is indication that a number of students are getting more involved in their community through charity fundraising,” he said.

“The Year 6 students if we look at their results, over half of those students have a good knowledge of how the system works, appropriate for their age level.”

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