Saturday 22nd of June 2024


To shadow and discuss the policies and practices of the Department of Education, Science and Training

Religious expression in schools and rules

The big issue in relation to the Auburn School girl who won the right to wear the Mantoo is something that I feel is interesting. Anita Quigley did an article today in the Daily telegraph and I tend to agree with her.

I wrote this email to her today.

I just want to congratulate you on your article on the real issues behind the Mantoo.

My daughter who is in Year 9 in a Public School tells me that the uniform doesn’t suit her beliefs and feelings - she hates it.

She is an individual and she resents dressing in school uniform as it makes her feel like she is in Prison and that she is a picture copy of every other student doing time. It really bothers her as an individual and it stifles her. She feels she is not afforded the respect that she deserves as an individual whilst she is in a silly uniform that makes her look like a young kid in a stifled school puppet dress.

Helping the kids!

I'm a Modern History teacher and am currently teaching 'People Power' to my Year 11s with particular emphasis on the Peace Movement. They will be primarily studying the Vietnam Peace Movement and comparing it to the contemporary situation.

This site is an excellent example of modern people power. However, it is a little 'high-brow' for the average 15-16 year old to just jump on and use. That being said I was wondering if anyone on this site would like to help me out with a 'virtual field trip' using the chat facility for about an hour in the next couple of weeks.

I would be able to email those interested with sample questions the students will be prompted with and am open to any suggestions from the forums (I'll also jump on the chat site around 7.00 on Tuesday night). It has to be kept really simple and any difficult concepts explained but you will be surprised at what they are aware of (they mostly all NOFX fans!).

Community Schools

An article in the SMH caught my eye.

"Public schools with lots of Aboriginal students should be run like private schools, with parents selecting principals and being involved in decision-making, the federal Minister for Education, Brendan Nelson, has said.

A "hybrid public/private model" would give Aborigines more control over public schools in the same way that health funding was devolved to some indigenous communities.

"I don't mean people paying school fees; I mean public investment, but not centralised decision-making," he told an Aboriginal representatives meeting in Cobar.

The Culture in Education

On the news yesterday I heard about the little 8-year-old boy who was being bullied by teachers to the point where he considered committing suicide.

For over 5 years my family have been making written formal complaints to the Department of Education of systemic bullying, misconduct and corruption. These complaints are “not accepted�? and are being covered up and as a result my children remain targeted, vulnerable and not protected. The Department has unfairly ruined my reputation and the reputation of my children so that nobody is required to listen to us or address the issues.

The issues flared up in the Year 2000 when a teacher started publicly humiliating my daughter and bullying her after I complained about her treatment and the inappropriateness of her education. I made formal written complaints and in desperation I wrote to the media about the neglect of gifted children.

Factory (or Office) Fodder

It now seems widely accepted that education should be limited to providing credentials for obtaining employment. This seems to be the stance of both major political parties.

There are a few problems with it.

First the employment market. Jobs are increasingly short-term and contract based. No qualification prepares its students for this. The jobs market envisaged is about 20 years out of date. No qualification helps the students generate their own business.

Second the logic. If employers want job ready workers why shouldn't they pay for them? They want the government out of the market? Fine! They can pay for what they want. If employers had been willing to fund apprenticeships there wouldn't be the skills shortage we now have.

Re: Bullying in Education and Society

The Government has in the past pledged millions of dollars in order to combat bullying in schools but as per usual it all goes to waste as things are getting worse, not better.

My son started a new school this year. This is his 4th school and he is 7 years old and the most sensible child I have ever come across, he is in Year 2. The reasons for the moves have differed and in one case it was a house move but what my son tells me disturbs me.

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