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Stupid approach to education

ANDREW Broad’s stated focus on education is a serious joke.

As a retired secondary school principal with more than 18 years of experience in the role, I watched in despair as first Kennett, then Howard and now Abbott and Pyne decimated real opportunities for more than 67 per cent of Australian students.

The principal of Kings College, Sydney – the most elite of schools – said the balance was wrong and we needed to fix it.

Gonski was the promise that that would happen. Gonski is, in practice, gone.

To parents who live in rural Aust­ralia, here is a simple fact – 40 per cent of your children who could go to university don’t. This compares to 20 per cent who live in the big cities who don’t.

As further education is the strongest marker of lifetime success including health, this a 100 per cent disaster.

According to OECD data on learning in 2001, Australia ranked fifth and seventh in maths and science. Now we are 15th and 17th.

There is a rolling ball crashing through our civic society. Why, for example, would a young Australian turn down a $385,000 three-year science scholarship?

Dr Danielle Edwards turned down this prestigious scholarship. She said it was because of the Abbott Government’s attack on science. About 1500 science jobs have gone in the CSIRO alone.

Broad’s “knowledge society” is done and dusted unless he and his government change or we change the government.

Mr Broad thinks Pyne’s $100,000 uni degrees are good for us. No, they’re not. As so many of your constituents already cannot afford to go to uni Mr Broad, these changes will make it dramatically worse.

And Mr Pyne is tying education reform to the funding of 127science research centres across Australia.

The funds will go and immediately 1700 more science jobs go too.

Dumbing down our nation is not a goal, it is the most stupid thing I can imagine.

Robert Biggs,

Red Cliffs

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