SBS language | “Learning Makes Sense Here”: Explaining the Australian School System to Newly Arrived Migrant Families

Kuldip Kaur is passionate about helping migrant parents understand the Australian education system. As a tutor, she teaches English and maths lessons to children from prep to tenth grade and believes that “there is no one way to learn for all students in a class” .

“The Australian education system encourages students to find their own problem-solving strategies,” she says.

Strong points

  • Kuldip Kaur has been teaching in Australia for about 10 years.
  • She talks about the differences in teaching formats and methods used in Australia and India.
  • She explains how the lockdown has fueled demand for tutors across Australia.

In an interview with SBS Punjabi, she discusses the differences in teaching formats and methods between India and Australia.

“Literacy and numeracy are the fundamental basis here. All the other subjects are based on these two main subjects,” she explains.

Kuldip kaur with his students.

Provided by Mrs Kaur

Mrs. Kaur, who has about 15 years of group education experience in Australia and India, helps many children learn outside of school. She says the transition to a new country and a new school can pose additional hurdles for migrant families.

“Children of newcomers may have spent part of their education in another country, and the school teaches it differently here,” she says.

Her suggestion to migrant parents is to follow local criteria, preparation tools and benchmarks.

According to Ms Kaur, parents play a vital role in helping children integrate into the Australian school system.

“It’s often just about understanding the standards of behavior at school. Learning here is very meaningful and practical,” she says.

Migrants attach great importance to education

Speaking about the importance of education for people of South Asian descent, Ms Kaur says: “Migrants look for opportunities that are not available in their country of origin and try to give more than their 100% for a better life”.

In his 2017 assessment of migrant educationThe OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) has found that Chinese, Indian and Filipino students have a higher rate of academic proficiency than Australian-born students.

migrant education

According to a review of migrant education, Australians from certain migrant backgrounds do better in school.


Extended school closures have increased demand for tutors

Ms Kaur says the demand for private lessons has increased during the pandemic.

“Home learning has added to parents’ worries, and one-to-one online lessons have also been in high demand.

“The government is also employing thousands of tutors to help students catch up after the lockdown,” she says.

Listen to Kuldip Kaur’s audio interview by clicking on “Speaker” in the photo above.

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