27 MAY  2008




Failure to Celebrate a Public Education Week or Day 2008

Brumby's Victorian Government,  Bronwyn Pike, the Education Minister and her Ministry were incapable and unwilling to celebrate public education for even a day, let alone a week between May 18 - 24, 2008.

 Earlier in the year on 17 March 2008, Bronwyn Pike could launch an International Education Week. Yet she could not even launch a public nor even a State Education week,  but only an Education week in which  private schools involved themselves, getting two possible bites at the advertisement cherries.

 Failure of AEU Victoria Branch

DOGS do not find it strange that during Education Week this particular teacher union branch do not even mention any Education Week 2008 on their website, let alone promote a Public Education Day or Week.

 Private Schools Promote their Week

 Victorian Roman Catholics can celebrate a Catholic Education Week, 9-16 March 2008 whilst the Lutherans can celebrate can celebrate a National Lutheran Schools Week,18-24 May 2008. And, as mentioned above, Bronwyn Pike can launch an International Education Week.

Victorian Government a Contrast with Other States and the ACT

Other State and Territory Governments have indicated more support and promotion of Public Education. Queensland can promote a State Education Week : 26-30 May 2008. New South Wales can celebrate a Public Education Day : 29 May 2008.

The ACT outperforms State  governments by promoting Public Education Week: 26-29 May 2008 together with Thursday 29 May 2008 as National Public Education Day.

Other State Teacher Unions Different from Victoria

The Victorian branch of the AEU can be contrasted with their counterparts in New South Wales and the ACT. New South Wales Teachers Federation are promoting Public Education Day on 29 May. The ACT Education Union are outdoing both Victoria and New South Wales. They are promoting both a Public Education Week and a Public Education Day. At the launch of Public Education Week they indicated that public education 'works'.

Pike's Nondescript Education Week permits Private Schools The Possibility of two Chances for Promotion:

The failure by Bronwyn Pike to vigorously promote a public education week has allowed the church schools into what was originally a State Education Week, but it has since become Education Week. DOGS provide two examples.:

1.  In the Preston Leader May 13, 2008, there was an Education Week supplement. Public schools were outdone by private schools in terms of paid advertisements. The supplement contained 8 private school to 6 public school advertisements.

2.   Public Education Readers were startled by Cover of the Melbourne Times Leader May 11 2008. On the cover of the Melbourne Leader, May 11 public school readers were startled to discover above the caption Celebrate Education Week, May 18-24'a lovely photograph of a beautiful picture of a presentable lass, not from a public school, but from the Academy of Mary Immaculate. A properly administered public education department would have ensured that at least a public school pupil appear on the front page of a magazine promoting Education Week.

So- what is going on?

Minister's Education Week Message Appalling

Bronwyn Pike has basically used the opportunity of a message as an act of self-congratulation for both herself and the  Brumby government. Between sixty and seventy per cent of the message is devoted to self congratulation. Not surprisingly, Bronwyn Pike, in the section that is not devoted to self congratulation, devotes between thirty and forty words to the value of public education to the child. Not a word is mentioned of the great value of public education to not only the child, but society. For example, public education is the cornerstone of our Australian democracy.

In support of such claims she could have referred to Sir Henry Parkes, Edmund Barton, Sir Samuel Griffiths, and the first Minister of Education for Victoria, James Wilberforce Stephen. Also see DOGS News Releases 191 at; 192 at ; 193 at ; 205 at and 207 at .

 Failure to Promote Public Education Accords with Recent Treachery

As noted in Press Release 253, Bronwyn Pike has

  • supported PPPs which destroy public in provision; and public in accountability requirements of a genuine public system.

  • proposed the integration of the public system with the Catholic system (The Age, 21 April 2008: 'State to Seek Closer Ties with Catholic Schools'

  • promoted the idea of private school principals taking over public school appointments, thus destroying any pretence of career opportunities for those already working in and committed to the public sector. This proposal will destroy the concept of long term access to job opportunities for committed public school teachers. '( The Age, 8 May 2008: 'Pay Lure for Principals'

  • continued the fractionizing and destruction of public education. The central nervous system, the bureaucracy has become a mere shell of consultants contracting to other consultants and project managers. There is no central oversight but only abdication and abnegation of any responsibility continuing from the top to the bottom of the education department. Our public schools have been cast into single units,  ready to be picked off by the private sector and zealous religious groups and persons. If you don't think this is happening under Bronwyn Pike, think again! Remember her own religious background and activities.

Do not Mourn: Organise and Fight for Public Education

In spite of the disgraceful performance of those in leadership positions, public education supporters must fight for public education. The following are some of the things which we must promote:

The restoration of the pupil enrolment share in Australian public schools from the current 66.4% back to the disastrous year of 1973 when the ALP Schools Commission was established of 78.5% and even further back to the late nineteenth century when the pupil enrolment share was above 80%.

Defend and promote the eightfold definition of public education which underpins the free secular universal public education systems of Australia ( public in purpose, outcome, access, ownership, control, funding, accountability, and provision)

The unadulterated commitment of the Minister, and Ministry from top to bottom to public education as defined above.

The unadulterated commitment to public education of those in leadership positions to public education .

Supporters of public education should also demand that those in leadership positions take responsibility for the welfare of our public systems and desist from entanglement with  ALP  schemes.

Typical  ALP Scheme Designed to Weaken the Fight for Public Education

The ALP have declared that they want to get rid of the difference between public and private in education. On February 18, 2008, they introduced an $800,000.00 scheme with the political purpose of  helping to silence a strong support for public education. This is a mere extension of a Beazley/Kirner/Costello type scheme with  the establishment of the Schools Commission  in 1973. The ALP formula is simple: entangle representatives of the public school parents and teachers with private school interests.




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Last modified:Tuesday, 27 May 2008