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Monday, 23 November 1998
Page: 370

Mr RUDD —I would like to address the importance of school education and some of the practical problems facing it in the federal electorate of Griffith, which includes the southern suburbs of Brisbane. In the six weeks that I have been the member for Griffith I have visited 27 of my local schools: the primary schools at Bulimba, Morningside, Cannon Hill, Norman Park, Carina, Coorparoo, Seville Road, Greenslopes, Mount Gravatt East and Mansfield; and the high schools at Balmoral, Cavendish Road, Camp Hill, Coorparoo Secondary College and Mansfield. I have also visited St Peter's and St Paul's, St Oliver Plunkett's, St Martin's, St Thomas's, San Sisto College, Seton College, Villanova College, Iona College, Loreto College, Lourdes Hill College, the Christian Outreach College and the Brisbane Adventist College.

I would like to thank the school principals of these schools and colleges for extending me their hospitality and time to discuss with me some of the practical problems that they face in their respective schools. These include, firstly, the problems of quality assur ance in relation to the curriculum, syllabus and work programs which they deliver; secondly, the management of information technology within their school systems and the cost associated with it; thirdly, the management overload of teachers and the dilution of effort as a consequence of that; fourthly, the challenges of behaviour management with children in the classroom as a consequence of family breakdown in our society; and, finally and relatedly, teacher morale. I would like to congratulate the professionalism of the teachers and principals with whom I have spoken. I am looking forward to working with them, their school communities, their P&Cs and their P&Fs towards practical solutions to the problems that they face on the ground.