Australian students are being given a one-sided and biased perspective on one of the most important political issues facing our nation.
Following a report in The Australian last week, Coalition senators in Senate Estimates raised the misguided choice of some states and territories to only promote the ‘Yes’ case when teaching students about the Albanese Labor government’s proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum.
Under questioning from Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and myself, the Secretary of the Department of Education, Dr Michele Bruniges AM, shared these concerns, saying “I would hope, Senator, that a balanced discussion occurs within classrooms.”
Dr Bruniges also agreed to raise these concerns with the states and territories.
This is in sharp contrast to Labor’s Assistant Minister for Education, Senator Chisholm, who simply endorsed Minister Clare’s view that it is up to the states and territories to decide how to implement the national curriculum.
This is not good enough. The government must show leadership.
Like other material taught in school, teachers and education departments should always aim to provide their students with all sides of any argument or issue so as to properly inform and stimulate critical thinking.
The Labor Government must intervene and ensure that Australian students are given the opportunity to consider both sides of such a significant debate about Australia’s future.
Classrooms are for education not indoctrination or propaganda.
17 February 2023