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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1001

Senator RAE - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science. Is it not a fact that one of the primary conclusions of the report of the Advisory Committee on the Teaching of Asian Languages and Cultures in Australia was that there was in Australia inadequate treatment of Asia in social studies and other courses at secondary school level? What steps are being taken by the Commonwealth Government to remedy that situation? If no steps have yet been taken will the Minister make representations to his colleague the Minister for Education and Science to have action implemented to achieve adequate treatment of Asian languages and cultures in secondary schools in Australia?

Senator WRIGHT - I remind the Senate that the Government set up a very skilled committee to advise it on the steps to be taken to amplify studies of Asia and Asian languages in Australian schools. It is almost coincidental that about one year ago this day the report was tabled in Parliament. I can assure the honourable senator that any implication in his question that the report is not being paid sufficient attention can be dismissed. That report has been the subject of consideration by several, committees created on an ad hoc basis. as different problems required solution, lt has also been the subject of discussions with the State authorities in whose schools the implementation of the report would primarily be carried out. These consultations having concluded recently, the report is now under examination, for recommendation by the Minister and then for decision by the Government.

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