IPA Today

Parents Pushing Back Against Curriculum Flaws

Written by
11 February 2022
Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph

All the critics of the radical new National Curriculum being foisted upon this country by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) have been proven right.

Among them numbered this newspaper, which drew readers’ attention to many of the profound problems with the curriculum. Instead of making an official announcement about changes to the draft curriculum, last week ACARA issued selected leaks to sympathetic media outlets. It hoped that by leaking the news it is adding the words “Western Civilisation” and “Christianity” to the syllabus, the problem would go away. ACARA is clearly starting to feel the pressure from the public but all it is doing is political window dressing. This is not how a curriculum should be written.

Last year, many on the left claimed complaints about the curriculum were nothing but a vast right-wing conspiracy. But if there wasn’t problem in the first place, ACARA would not be making these changes. Parents should be angry. They should be asking why it is they have not seen the new curriculum. They should be contacting the state education ministers and asking why it is they haven’t held a press conference to talk about the new curriculum. They should be asking why it is the curriculum is a big, black box.

Parents should be outraged about slight wording changes because it does nothing to fix the problem that their children are being taught Australia is fundamentally a racist country and nothing has ever happened in our history that has been remotely positive or good. It is no wonder younger Australians end up being ashamed of this country, believing it should be endlessly apologised for. It should come as no surprise Australians are becoming increasingly reluctant to celebrate Australia Day or do something as simple as to fly an Australian flag. As it turns out, the majority of Australians would like to see this change. According to a new poll of more than 1000 Australians commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, most people believe the pendulum has swung too far one way, and they believe this imbalance should be corrected.

The polling data collected by Dynata reveals 89 per cent believe Australians should be taught a balanced view of history, with a minority of 2 per cent thinking it should not be.   Instead of this Band-Aid fix, ACARA needs to excise the ideologically driven cross-curriculum priorities that are embedded into every learning area of the curriculum. It also needs to take out the highly divisive Critical Race Theory, which has been inserted into the original draft and which is the number one area of contention among parents in the US who are pushing back against it with force.

And while we are on the topic of ideology, the authors of the curriculum need to stop lying by commission and desist from propagating historical inaccuracies, such as the mythical notion that the British were warmongering, genocidal invaders.

They also need to stop lying by omission by starting to teach some of the positive aspects of how modern Australian history came into being.

They need to start explaining to young Australians why this country has been the safe haven for millions of people fleeing from all over the world. If it as bad as all that, why do they insist on coming here?

This is a wakeup call for the Coalition, which is finally realising that education is a key issue for voters. It reveals that during the lockdown, parents came face to face with what their children are actually learning, and those parents are not happy.

We are currently faced with a number of Coalition MPs threatening to split the party over school enrolment. Perhaps our elected politicians should be spending some of their time looking into exactly what the next generation is being taught, courtesy of ideologically driven, unelected bureaucrats.

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Bella d'Abrera

Dr Bella d'Abrera is the Director, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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