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Garrett refuses to admonish curriculum drafters

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Christopher Pyne, MP 

Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training  Manager of Opposition Business in the House   

Garrett refuses to admonish curriculum drafters


Minister for Schools, Peter Garrett, today refused to admonish the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) spokesman who said that Gallipoli may have been unnecessarily glorified.

Mr Garrett also backed plans by the ACARA to teach students about the view of fringe groups that believe Australian war memorials should be shut down and ANZAC day commemorations cancelled because they glamorise war.

“These are sacred traditions for Australians where the sacrifice of older generations who fought for freedom against tyranny is remembered and honoured,” said Christopher Pyne, Shadow Minister for Education.

“Mr Garrett, as the person responsible for the curriculum, should be strident in his defence of these special days and memorials, and the first to condemn the apparent hijacking of the national curriculum by the views of a minority,” he said.

“The Coalition raised concerns from day one over the content of the draft curriculum and we were not alone, the draft has had 26,000 submissions and according to all reports is undergoing a substantial rewrite, but there are two months remaining before the Government must have a curriculum ready for implementation.

“I have called on Mr Garrett to delay the implementation of the Curriculum until January 2012, to ensure a substandard document isn’t forced on students and schools, but he continues to insist upon the January 2011 deadline.

“After the Prime Minister has specifically cited the national curriculum as a major reform in a recent speech, a substandard document that is rejected by the sector will be another crushing blow to the Gillard Government, that is incapable of delivering in

education,” Mr Pyne said.