PARTS of Sydney remain monocultural and would benefit from a deeper understanding of Asian culture and languages, the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has declared as he prepares for his first official trip to India.
Discussing education's role in NSW's engagement with Asian economies, Mr O'Farrell said the system must focus more on teaching Asian culture and languages such as Chinese - and languages should be taught earlier in school life.
He said his observation of other countries, where he said children knew three languages by the end of primary school, had convinced him ''we start our language education at the wrong level of schooling''.
''We need to be focusing on language development as much as we need to be focused on industry development,'' he said.
The exponential growth of China and India meant the future was clearly in Asia, where there were great opportunities but only if people were exposed to them.