Friday, August 29, 2008

Mr Rudd's education plans

The Prime Minister has made a few grandiose statements about his education policy. One of the statements suggest that the government would sack Principals of non-performing schools.

I have seen a few non-performing schools and I am sure the Principals are not the main factor in this non-performance. Principals can, of course, inspire staff and students and I did see this at a large high school I worked at for 12 years. The students at this high school; approximately 2,000 in number, were from middle class to wealthy families. Many Asian immigrants moved into the school catchment area to be eligible for their kids to attend.

That being said, there are schools which have a cohort of students largely sitting out their time of compulsory education. It is PC not to admit that less wealthy areas do have a population that is not craving higher education. Several schools spring to mind and there is often a 'them versus us' attitude between staff and students.

We sent our kids to government schools and by and large they had a good education. I am a strong supporter of government schools and have always thought that private schools have two bob each way. If a child mucks up at a private school, he or she can be expelled and have to return to the government school system. It is almost impossible for a rude or violent student to be expelled from a government school.

Today I visited a large private girls' school to collect a couple of computers from their IT people. I was impressed; very impressed. Presbyterian Ladies College in Peppermint Grove is set in Perth's most affluent suburb with fine buildings and facilities. As I walked around the campus I noticed young ladies in very proper school uniform walking quietly around in a dignified manner; their uniforms not dishevelled. The staff I met seemed free of the constant need to discipline students.
Government schools have uniforms, but most of the time the wearing of them is compromised by adding baggy trousers etc.

I would have liked to spend a couple of years teaching there. That being said I enjoyed immensely my 12 years at Willetton Senior High and many ex-students keep in touch with 'the old fart Lock .'

Written by Kevin, using Joan's account

1 comment:

Paul Weaver said...

Well as we have seen with a terrible road accident a couple of days ago even kids from 'respectable' schools can come to grief when they borrow the parents' BMW.