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What’s happened to our public education system?

It’s a good question, isn't it?

And there’s no simple answer – but we have let it happen.

Quite some years ago, I was involved in a State and Territory level Board of Studies, a statutory government body, which was required to advise government on school curricula and whether or not those students leaving school and entering the work force were equipped with skills needed to survive and contribute in a commercial, trade or professional employment environment.

Generally speaking, they were. There were the predictable complaints from industry that "the kids can't do maths", there were the predictable complaints from the tertiary sector "that kids can't read or write English" - but we all survived, and the economy staggered onwards.

During those years, I clarified a view that had been dwelling in the far reaches of my brain for some time – since my military service in South East Asia. That view was that school teachers in Australia were simply not accorded the professional and community respect that was accorded to school teachers in South East Asia. I wondered why. Because school teachers are a vital part of our communities.

They are the people who mould the minds of our young people; they are charged with the comprehensive responsibility of equipping young Australians with the skills, analytical, emotional, social and reasoning, that will allow them to participate and contribute to the growth of the national economy and community.

They are not surrogate parents, although that role is expected of some of them. They are not responsible for the personal discipline of their students in a broad sense, although they will see, very quickly, any change of behaviour which will be noted and reported to parents. Equally, they will see evidence of neglect and abuse of children and report their concerns.

School teachers are important figures in our communities. They deserve respect, and they should receive proper compensation for the responsibilities they carry.

It is disturbing for me to have observed in the past few years a gradual change in how our education systems function. And the most obvious change is that of the curriculum that currently applies.

This curriculum seems to be based upon a challenge to the national legitimacy of Australia. This is based upon notions that Australia has dispossessed Aboriginal people; that Australia practices racism, sexism and environmental vandalism.

It appears as if all subjects in our education system need to be taught from an Aboriginal, Asian and environmental perspective.

(I have paraphrased a previous Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, in the above lines.)

I am not going to legitimise much of this nonsense by refuting, line by line, the existing proposals, except to say that much of the current curriculum is based upon "the self-loathing mindset" of the largely left-wing academic and professional political opinions of those who draft our curricula.

They are wrong, and when the opportunity presents, I shall address those proposals line by line and demolish them! And that shall not be hard.

The next noticeable change to our education system is that the teachers, not all of them by any means but a large number of them, are quite willing to express political views in the classroom and seem quite prepared to enforce their views.

Evidence exists of students being required to criticise themselves over their race, their gender and other nonsense.

I am well aware that these are big calls and will unleash the 'Twitterati ' upon me. So be it.

The evidence exists. It is the truth. And the fact stands, challenged or not, it is the truth.

The problem with all this, apart from the intellectual dishonesty of much of it, is the damage done to the opinions of young people in the process. I have had young people accuse me of being “an old white man” who has stolen their future, locked up their nation’s wealth and prevented them from "getting houses and other stuff."

I asked one particular young couple what was their evidence for saying this? And their answer?

Well, their answer was rather sad because it was just nonsense, a rant of envy, confected emotion and gender-based trivia.

Their age and life experience were such that these attitudes could have only come from our education system.

So, the question remains: what has happened to our public education system?

At one time, not long ago, it was the role model for South East Asia. It is not now!

Well, obviously, it has been diluted from its previous model and now suffers, in my opinion, from political influence, particularly left-wing political influence.

And it is difficult to determine what the point of that is? The ordinary world, into which most of our public school students will graduate, does not operate on left-wing ideology. It operates on commonsense.

You can’t build a house from Marxist principles. You can’t run a small business according to the gender-based nonsense and envy promulgated in some classrooms. You can’t develop a retail business based upon toppling statues of past explorers and casting blame for perceived wrongs on the current generation.

And you most definitely cannot deal with the challenges that life will throw at you by casting about to find someone to blame for your situation.

And that, is the fundamental philosophy of what is being taught in our public schools. It’s always someone else’s fault! Not yours!

Yes, it is desirable to raise controversial social issues in our education system; it is desirable to encourage robust debate, but it is essential to temper these matters with balance, objectivity and reason.

It seems to me that the current curriculum, awaiting ratification by the Federal Government, is the product of a wild, intellectual frolic from inside the academic world.

And if parents are unhappy with what is happening in our public education system, there is only one remedy. Tell your local state or federal parliamentary representative. Tell them you are unhappy with what is being taught in our public schools. And tell them why!

It should be noted that the opinions expressed here are just that; opinions. Facts, when stated, are apparent. My comments, which flow from my opinions, relate to Australia's public education system only.

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