Monday, October 30, 2006

blurring the lines

If the ‘hearts and minds’ of Australian children were to be nurtured with a State funded $90 million windfall, how do you think it could best be spent?

I think of the kids in remote communities turning to solvent abuse, early parenthood and self-defeatism. I see this weird dichotomy of over protected, wealthier kids being wrapped in cottonwool and over indulged, while others have massive self esteem issues. I think of teachers in public schools with larger than desirable class sizes, so some of the quieter but more challenged kids slip through the gaps.

I would fund a program to foster healthy esteem for self and others. I would create awareness that each individual is a member of a diverse community – locally, nationally and internationally, in which there is a place for everyone. I would like each child to leave school with emotional and educational resources to see them through their lives.

Instead, our Prime Minister, in all his “wisdom” and with the blessing of the opposition, has given this precious money to pastoral care. In a move to further knock down the boundaries between church and state, all schools (private and public) have the opportunity to be given $20,000 to select a chaplain from ONE faith, to play a spiritual guidance role in their institution. That’s right – put a priest/minister/rabbi/mufti on the payroll of your State school. To do what? I don’t know. It is implied that the money is not to be split to have a variety of faiths represented. Instead of diversity, this is a move to encourage division within a school community. The PM, on TV promoting his new scheme, also said clearly that the choice had to be “appropriate” and that the government could veto a schools choice.

I’m guessing wicca or deep ecology is not going to get a look in.

How would you spend this money?


Blogger muse said...

Pastoral care???

Dear gods, of all the helpful things that this money could have been spent on, and he's wasting it on proselityzing??

At least it could have been "moral" (or "how to be a good citizen", "how to have good relationships with others", etc.). But religious endoctrination?


10:33 am  
Blogger Boysenberry said...

I think your two suggestions are more helpful than "pastoral care" and "spritual guidance". Does this now mean we have to look for schools with a "spritual counsellor" that is closer to our line of thinking?

9:54 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I think that's right Boysenberry - especially in the inner city I can imagine the schools choice on whether they take up the offer at all, or how they use it will be a deciding factor for any aware parent.

8:17 am  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I nearly went ballistic when I read this article on Sunday. It's rubbish and it's not moral or ethical to throw money away on rubbish that won't work.

Every year at the start of school, Les Twenyman is on TV asking for help to buy books for kids to keep them in school and off the streets. How many books would 90 million buy?

Blood pressure rising again, think of fairies, think of sparkles, think of turning JHo into a toad.

3:02 pm  

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