Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Mary Louise Michie; career ended

A bit of a disturbing story coming out of the Northern Territory today; a long serving Teacher, possessing an excellent record, has been placed on a good behaviour bond (and can never teach again) because a student sustained the grievous injury of … a swollen thumb. There are many things wrong with this story and fault lays all over the place – but to think a teacher’s career can be ended instantly (as you’ll see below) over such an incredibly minor instance is mind-boggling to say the least.

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From the story about the current floods in Queensland:

You know you’re in Australia when even road signs have to be censored:

F*ck, Road Closed!

The Herald-Sun (yes, I know it is a terrible paper with a reading age of about eight but that is another matter) and The Australian (alright, that isn’t a good paper either) are reporting that religious based charities will be allowed to discriminate against homosexual couples who seek to adopt children. This sort of thing is something that tends to annoy me no end; on one hand charities say they are there to help one and all … but not those people over there, they’re not like us so can go elsewhere. It is pretty standard this days that you can discriminate on the basis of gender, religious beliefs, nationality and (shock! Horror!) sexual preference.

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This entry being written on Christmas might be of interest to some but it should not be surprising. Last night the annual ‘Carols by Candlelight’ event was televised across the country; I sat and watched some of it and it spurned forth a number of questions and lines of thought.

The first thing that struck me was the amount of lies being communicated throughout the evening, and even the entire festive season for that matter, especially aimed at children. Nothing that is built upon a lie is good. Ends do not justify the means, especially in this case. So why persist in the nonsense that is ‘Santa Clause’? It certainly sets a bad precedent in terms of trust between parents and child; if a parents lies to a child about what is considered an important time of the year then what else is false? There is absolutely no reason that a parent cannot say that Christmas is just a celebration where people try to be as kind to each other as they can. There is no need for the lies and falsehoods. Whatever shape they may take.

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6a00d8341bf68b53ef01156fb855cc970c-800wiChurch attendance across the globe is going down faster than Pamela Anderson in a football team locker room in almost all cases (the exception being those absurd US mega-churches but they are far more a business than an actual church).   Why is this happening? Former Australian Defence Force Anglican bishop Tom Frame is blaming a lot of churches that he’s labelled as ‘weak’, ‘insipid’ and ‘unintelligible’.  Let’s take a look at what he’s said, thanks to the ABC, and see exactly where Frame has gone wrong.

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nci_classroom_2_imagelargeLast night SBS had an edition of their usually excellent ‘Insight‘ program, where people involved in a modern issue come to say their piece in an attempt to deliver and overall balanced snap shot of the story.  Last night was based on the issue of the creation of ‘League Tables’ and transparency within the Australian education system.  Present was Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard who also serves as Minister of Education.  For those who are not in the know, the current Australian Federal Government want to basically overhaul the existing education system and make it considerably more like the United States and United Kingdom models, which is an incredibly bad thing, but you would not realise that from the somewhat one sided presentation given by Insight.

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The United States of America has the questionable honour of possessing one of the worst educational systems in the developed world.  One of the worst aspects of this system is the policy known as ‘No Child Left Behind’.  At the core of NCLB is the idea that if a school does not perform up to standards then funding to it is reduced.  This, even to the most dense of people, should set off all manner of alarm bells in peoples heads.

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