Several academic institutions have made moves to outright ban the artificial intelligence large language model ChatGPT from the space, but a South Australian regional high school principal is optimistic about its future in education. 

Loxton High School supports roughly 500 students in South Australia’s Riverland, nearly three hour’s drive from Adelaide.

The school’s principal, Amy Evans, has welcomed the SA Department for Education’s call for public submissions and responses to a survey to inform its new purpose statement — a document that will be used to inform future policy including standards for education moving into the future. 

One of the questions the department wants respondents to consider is: What skills and capabilities should public education encourage so students can thrive in the world after they complete school?

“This has been something education has been moving towards for some time, but hearing it phrased by the education department has given a public face to it,” Ms Evans said.

“We want to support young people to develop in a rapidly changing world and we’ve been in this space for a little while with the question of ‘what is a school supposed to do?'”

A picture of a pathway leading up to a school with garden and trees on either side of the path.
The school has a modest population and doesn’t have the same budgets afforded to metropolitan schools.(ABC Riverland: Timu King)

Ms Evans said her focus has turned towards amplifying fundamental human qualities which artificial intelligence can not reproduce. 

“We’re setting up subjects, schools, and the curriculum at the moment so young people are directed towards solving real-world problems,” she said.

“Their creativity, and their ideas, need to be at a much higher level than what we’re currently seeing out of AI, so that those ideas will be valued in the future.”

Those real-world, localised problems include redeveloping a public space and meetings with the council. 

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