Search This Blog

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Convenient Segue

I send my children to a local public school and I'm happy to do this for both philosophical and practical purposes. I'm not religious so uncomfortable with my kids being exposed to a narrow or singular religious philosophy, or religion at all for that matter. I prefer to teach my children to live ethically using their minds and conscience rather than a book offering threats of damnation, even if the book is a best seller (and yes we have a copy of the bible at home).  I also appreciate the opportunity attending a public school offers my children for accessing the public system's Teachers Aide program. While my daughter can cope OK in class without the additional support of a TA there is absolutely no way Harri could at this point in time. I feel enormous gratitude that our school offers him almost full time aide support allowing the class environment to 'work' for him in ways it wouldn't without the help of his wonderful TA. But I'm also aware that schools allocate aide to each class based on need, and that need far outstrips the resources available. The lack of aide support for many children is directly linked to funding,  rather than adding money to the educational aide pot, the national government are substracting it. That's pretty hard to stomach and seems driven by a shortsighted economic agenda. But when you see they are keeping their commitment to other non essential programs then it gets impossible to swallow. One program that continues to receive government support and funding without any apparent risk of reduction is the National Chaplaincy Program. An insidious way of getting god into the public education system.

 The educational 'integration' philosophy means more autistic children in mainstream classes, and also of course there are kids with behavioural issues, kids with undiagnosed learning issues such as dyslexia, and so on. Teachers are screaming out for increased resources such as more aide time, and yet the standard response from government is they can't afford it, so imagine my disdain for the program taking  millions of dollars the government are able to find to support a program that brings Christianity smack bang into our supposedly secular school system.

But it's not all doom. Mobilisation to support a current court challenge to the Chaplaincy program is afoot.

1 comment:

  1. This just in,