Kangaroo Island Community Education’s Parndana Campus is making a name for itself around the country for its unique and practical approach to teaching the island’s youth.
Last year the campus featured on ABC’s long-running program Landline for the campus’ student aquaculture program and its forward methods of teaching subjects more practical to island life.
Since the episode’s airing, Parndana Campus has received national and international attention from schools and businesses alike – with a company even providing free fish feeding supplements to help enhance their fish’s water.
The story has also featured on Behind the News, which is watched by school children across country.
But perhaps the most long-lasting effect of the campus’ television appearance has been the new relationship burgeoning between the school and schools in the Northern Territory – which share Parndana’s struggles that come with relative isolation.
“We’re looking to have a long-term relationship with these schools,” said KICE principal Ian Kent.
Mr Kent says that the rural school’s method of practical learning is setting up their students well for the future.
“The students learn better by using a practical aspect and being able to relate it to real life,” he said.
“We put it into practice so it reinforces it.
“Everything that we do, on each of our campuses, is replicating everything that happens on this island.”
Mr Kent explained that information is now available at a person’s fingertips to anybody with a smartphone and an internet connection and that knowing how to learn was more important than knowing facts and figures.
“What we do in un-googleable. But it’s about how do we put that knowledge to practice,” Mr Kent said.
Parndana Campus principal Peter Philp reiterated Mr Kent’s sentiments and explained the benefits for Pardana’s students.
“It gives 'em real-life learning, real-life experience and it allows them to complete vocational education competencies that demand they do that real-life learning,” Mr Philp said.