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Australia no closer to being the "clever country"



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DR DAVID KEMP MP FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GOLDSTEIN SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

145 KOORNANG ROAD CARNEGIE, VIC. 3163 PH: (03) 571 3311 FAX: (03) 571 6020

12 MARCH, 1991 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA RELEASE

AUSTRALIA NO CLOSER TO BEING THE "CLEVER COUNTRY"

The Hawke Government's Industry Statement has totally neglected the real priorities in education.

Today's announcement does nothing to remedy the detrimental impact of Mr Dawkins' White Paper upheaval on research activity and quality in higher education.

The additional post-graduate research scholarships, while welcome, barely begin to address the massive tertiary staff shortage Australia is facing in the 1990s.

The initiatives in relation to schools bypass the weaknesses in the "clever country" strategy.

Problems such as literacy and numeracy in schools and effective national monitoring of standards are simply ignored. The inquiry into what makes a good school can only reveal the flaws in the Government's approach.

The announcement of funding for 15 co-operative research centres, which the Government attempted to make a centrepiece, is simply the outcome of an initiative announced in the Prime Minister's election policy speech a year ago.

These co-operative research centres, while having desirable features, will not compensate for Australia not effectively commercialising its scientific research and will contribute only minimally to achieving the goal of commercial benefit.

The cost problems, work practices and structure of the tax system have also undermined hi-tech industries.

As expected, the Government has tried to bluff its way through the problems in education with flashy, shallow announcements which it hoped would cover up its failure to address the real issues.

No such luck.

ends

For more information: Dr David Kemp (06) 277 2035

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