School in the Mail-Box
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 1947, this film looks at how Australians tackled the tyranny of distance to educate the children of the outback by correspondence. These students, living far from any school, are taught from a city school where there are no pupils, only teachers.
In the days before satellites, the internet or even photocopying machines, School in the Mail-box shows the extraordinary organisation and planning that was involved in delivering lessons to children by plane, train, buggy, even camel and then returned to the school for review. It also shows how the radio played a key role in the educational process, foreshadowing that other great Australian educative tool, the School of the Air. Both of these forms of distance education are available to remote Australian children today.
Made by the National Film Board 1946. Directed by Stanley Hawes.