There are a number of questions the Minister needs to answer:
1) School Eduaction is a State responsibility under Australia's Constitution, isn't it, Minister?
2) She claims that "ideologues .. have hijacked" curriculums. But State Curricula are set by politically independent Boards of Studies, aren't they? (although they have been forced by your Governemnt to submit to your political agenda for national testing and funding)
3) The Prime Minister agrees with your plan and stated "I don't think at the moment we have sufficiently high standards in relation to basic literacy and numeracy", but have you seen the results of PISA (the Program for International Student Assessment)? PISA is conducted by the OECD. Does the Minister know that Australian students were in the top 3 in each of English, Mathematics and Science? The Sydney Morning Herald (7-Oct-06 at http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/teens-in-top-five-out-of-41-countries/2006/10/06/
1159641533684.html ) said:
"The then federal education minister, Brendan Nelson, said of the second test (in 2003) the results ... echoed the view of the OECD that Australia was a "high-quality, high-equity" country."
4) With respect to the History curriculum, aren't you showing a White Australia Policy view of Australian history??
For all our advancement in the modern world, for all the history from which we can learn, it is most interesting that we revert back to "the good ol' days ". (slightly edited view of a University student) The "good old days", of course, are how some would LIKE to remember them with nostalgia, not how they really were. They are viewed with rose-coloured glasses.
Just imagine the lessons people WON'T learn from history and literature if Julie Bishop gets her way. Lessons about: power, corruption, humanity, self-actualisation (horrid psychology term), love/hate, conflict, justice, political systems, religious and social tolerance, social structures, ethics, and more. Lessons we, and our children, can use to make ours, and their, world a better, more humane place.
What's the Federal Government's, and Ms Bishop's agenda? Political Correctness from a rather extreme right-wing Government and Minister. She and Mr Howard want to dictate the school curriculum, based ontheir own rose-coloured view of history and political correctness. To that extent, their idea is no different from those of Mao Ze Dong, Stalin, Ho Chi Min, Pol Pot and extreme leaders of other countries that hijacked the state education system for their own political purposes.
As voters, WE must oppose political interference and political party control of education. In Australia, we don't have a politbureau ... yet.
Julie Bishop, Minister for Education, Science and Training, can be contacted via: