Indigenous languages become HSC school subject in NSW

ABORIGINAL languages will become a new HSC subject in New South Wales schools from next year, in a bid to strengthen indigenous culture in the state.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli visited Minindee Central School in the state's far west to make the announcement.

"There are approximately 35 Aboriginal languages in New South Wales, with 19 being taught across NSW, and more than 100 dialects," he said.

"This new course will help maintain this critical part of Aboriginal cultures."

There are already 61 schools teaching indigenous languages up to Grade 10 across NSW.

The new curriculum will allow students to continue their studies until Grade 12.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams said the move would help build stronger Aboriginal communities.

"This course will aid Aboriginal young people to become the future custodians and caretakers of their languages and empower them to maintain a strong sense of identity," she said.

"For non-Aboriginal young people it will provide them with a deeper understanding of the world's oldest living culture.

"Partnership between the school and their local Aboriginal community will enable knowledge holders to provide expertise and guidance to classroom teachers."

The course will appear on students' higher school certificates but will not contribute to the calculation of their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.