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Government Launches Hindi & Punjabi VCE Courses at Wyndham Central College

Wyndham Secondary College

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In a significant development for Victorian education, the state government has unveiled plans to broaden access to Hindi and Punjabi language studies for students undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). The initiative, highlighted by Education Minister Ben Carroll, is part of a broader push to cater to Victoria’s diverse multicultural demographic.

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The Labor Government’s commitment will see a $3.5 million allocation from the 2023/24 Victorian Budget to facilitate the language program across select schools in Melbourne’s western, northern, and southeastern suburbs. Notably, Wyndham Central Secondary College in Werribee, alongside Alkira Secondary College in Cranbourne North and Mount Ridley P-12 College in Craigieburn, will spearhead this educational advancement. These institutions are poised to serve as hubs for the Hindi and Punjabi language programs, offering vital professional development support and resources for educators in the field.

This initiative comes in response to a growing demand for more inclusive language education options in Victoria, where over 20 languages are taught across government schools. However, the options for studying Hindi and Punjabi have been notably scarce. The program aims to address this gap, encouraging a greater number of students to pursue these languages at the VCE level.

Recent census data underscores the significance of this educational move, highlighting a surge in the Indian and Punjabi-speaking populations within the state. From 2016 to 2021, Victoria saw an increase of 23,449 persons identifying as Indian, with the Punjabi-speaking community growing by 7,833 individuals. Such demographic shifts reinforce the importance of offering language studies that reflect the state’s rich cultural tapestry.

Studying languages other than English is touted not only as a bridge to one’s heritage but also as a means to enhance literacy and communication skills. With Victoria home to the largest Indian community in Australia, the new language programs are expected to forge stronger connections between local students and the Indian subcontinent’s diverse cultures.

Minister Carroll expressed enthusiasm for the project, stating, “We’re connecting local students with the rich heritage of India, building and strengthening cross-cultural ties and giving more Victorian students the chance to study Hindi and Punjabi to VCE level.” He further emphasized that the introduction of these programs at selected schools is a step toward ensuring Victoria remains a leader in educational innovation and inclusivity.

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