Media Release: 23 November 2007: Put balanced education back into schools say Democrats

Bring Back Balance

ACT Democrats 2007

Media Release 23 November 2007

Put balanced education back into schools say Democrats

“Our schools need to be places of learning, not places of indoctrination.” Says Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser, Darren Churchill

Education Minister, Julie Bishop recently announced plans to write curriculum guides for English, Maths and Science. And the Prime Minister has stated that education funding should be linked to the teaching of of subjects, especially history.

“This sound like a government trying to stamp it’s own interpretation of subjects into our schools. A National Curriculum would make movement between the states and territories easier. But it needs to be developed by expert educationalists, co-operating between the states’ and territories’ education systems, not by a panel appointed by politicians.” Mr Churchill said.

“Curriculum development is a complex area and needs to incorporate a range a range of perspectives (gender, multicultural, indigenous, etc) as well as enabling the development of language, reading and writing, and technology skills.”

“Funding for education also needs to be based on fairness and equality (with special funding for disadvantaged schools). Not linked to some narrow, politicised teaching of history.”

“We need greater support for teachers, who should be allowed to teach without the burden of administrative tasks. Smaller class sizes would allow a better learning environment through lower teacher/pupil ratios. It is obscene to link teacher pay to how many kids they push through the system, or to a checklist of outcomes criteria.” said Mr Churchill (a qualified teacher himself).

“I’d like to see some kind of Civics education in schools as part of any consideration of a National Curriculum. Young people need to know how our political system operates, including the House of Representatives and Senate; the names of their local members (state/territory and federal); and how to actively participate in politics. The more we understand the system, the less politicians are able to pull the wool over our eyes, and the greater the accountability.” Mr Churchill concluded.

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser

Darren.Churchill@act.democrats.org.au

0412 196 473

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