15-19 MAY 2006



Our system of public education requires strong statements of support from those involved in the system itself, whether they be director generals, directors, staff, principals, teachers, parents, or interested citizens.

Citizens need those involved in public school education to give focus and resonance to the actuality, potentiality and aspirations of public school education.

We need those involved in public education to trumpet the virtues of public education, particularly in the present climate, when there is a retreat from the funding of public services; glorification of the market place jungle and individual choices; and privatization that limits and negates the  common good.

We need forceful and repeated statements of the ideology and benefits of a public education system- a system that is

  • public in purpose,

  • public in provision

  • public in access;

  • public in control;

  • public in ownership;

  • public in support'

  • public in benefit

  • and the sole beneficiary of public funding

We also require those involved to take a strong stand against detractors of public education, proclaiming the ideal of public education for it is still a great one, providing a splendid and liberating vision of a nation sustained by enlightened citizens and leaders.

Those involved in public education must be prepared to tell the churchmen and promoters of private education that we have enjoyed the enlightenment since the dark and middle ages and that one of the institutions which has proved most fruitful for the heterogeneous and democratic new nation states has been the public schools. Our public education system is a precious possession worth fighting for.

Those involved in public education should tell the politicians, the public, the pressmen and the priest as well as the pastor and professor, that the Church school faction is a corrupt and corrupting force in society.

We need those involved in public education to proclaim that private ( church) education  based on particularisms - on ethnicity, localisms, regionalisms, religion, and tribalism, not to mention social or economic class is no way forward. It is the way back - way back past the tensions of colonial Australia, to an unjust, divided, and war torn Europe. Private education based on selfish individual pursuit and particularisms, was tried and found wanting in Australia more than 100 years ago. This is what the founders and their successors in the public education system sought to replace by their proposals for a public education system that would be universal, free, secular and compulsory.

Those in public education should not be caught up in fawning me-too-ism and careerisms. Nor should they be ashamed of the people and children that the public school assists. Those involved must articulate and not mumble. They need to state issues rather than create fog. Above all, they should not be ashamed to oppose Aid to Church Schools. They should also uphold the principles and values of the separation of Church and State and Religious Liberty.  





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Last modified:Friday, 26 May 2006