Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's your excuse Garrett?

Federal Minister for Education Peter Garrett, formerly the lead singer with politically progressive rock band Midnight Oil, was talking about school funding on Adelaide radio this morning.

A caller identified as Bill from Victor Harbor rang in and asked the Minister why the federal Government continues to fund chaplains in schools.

It was a fair question given that the controversial scheme was introduced by the reactionary Howard Government (see here for previous post) and that Labor, while in Opposition, had pledged to bring it to an end.

Instead, Labor had continued the scheme during its first term of office and in the 2011-12 Budget identified a further $222m over 3 years to the end of 2014 in support of its expansion.

There was no money in the Budget for greater numbers of qualified counsellors, educational psychologists, specialist welfare/learning support teachers and allied support staff, and welfare/behaviour programs to meet students’ needs.

In reply, Garrett said that chaplains are only there to provide pastoral care and are prohibited from proselytising to their faith.

If that’s the case, why have chaplains at all? If they just want a cheap labour force that is prohibited from proselytising to Christianity, then why must these pretend-counsellors be chosen by religious agencies?

The answer is that the social democrats have totally embraced the agenda of imperialist neo-liberalism and want to outshine their competitors in US arse-licking, the conservative Liberals, so as to continue to enjoy the spoils of office with the endorsement of the US overlords.

Neo-liberalism is a complete agenda for ensuring continued US imperialist hegemony. Certain principles are taken as axiomatic: private is better than public, competition is inherently good, accountability drives improved performance, testing is central to measuring improvement, motivation can be raised by individualised incentives. Throw into the mix attacks on teachers and their unions and unfettered access to schools by corporations and military, and then the only thing missing from this “Americanisation” of Australian education is a healthy dose of religious activity. The mere fact of having people identified as “school chaplains” within a supposedly secular system of education is a privileging of religion as an institution and as a fact of secular school life. They don’t even need to proselytise, although many do.

Garrett is a fool and a hand puppet of US forces.


Anonymous said...

No pie throwers at Garrett in Oz yet?

SANTIAGO — Police fired tear gas and water cannons on at least 100,000 demonstrators in the Chilean capital Thursday, and arrested 13 during the biggest protest in two months demanding educational reforms.
Angry protesters hurtled sticks, rocks and metal objects ..
as police responded from armored vehicles in the violent culmination of what had been a peaceful, festive and colorful demonstration, the sixth of its kind.
A police officer was hurt and 13 people were arrested.
Organizers estimated a crowd of about 200,000 people participated in the demonstration, while local media gave an estimate of 100,000. No official figures were immediately available….
The unrest came two weeks after some 70,000 people took to the streets calling for greater government investment in public education, which now totals 4.4 percent of Chile's gross domestic product compared with the seven percent of GDP for developed countries recommended by the United Nations.

Anonymous said...

peter garrett is so full of shit he is exactly the same as any politician.who would have believed that someone with peter garretts background would turn into such a two faced arse licking politician.