|Official Country Name:||Christmas Island|
|Language(s):||English, Chinese, Malay|
The territory of Christmas Island is 870 miles northwest of Australia. Seventy-three percent of the population is Chinese; however, English is the primary language taught in school. The rest of the population is Malaysian, European, or Australian. The educational system recognizes and celebrates the various multicultural holidays and ceremonies.
Children between the ages of 6 and 15 must attend school or some other government program. The Christmas Island High School provides education through tenth grade only; students must transfer to the mainland or elsewhere to complete the last two years of high school or university. Home schooling is a common trend, but parents must apply for approval. As of September 2000, there were a total of 450 students: 64 students enrolled in preprimary school, 271 in primary school, and 115 in secondary school.
The educational system is based on the Australian curriculum. Teachers on the Island come from Western Australia. Since 1990, more money has been allocated to ensure that students receive a comparable education to the mainland, despite the remote location. Recent improvements include the acquisition of computers and a technology laboratory for students, a new science laboratory, and a new library.
Australian State Department of Education, 1997. Available from http://www.eddept.wa.edu.au.
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