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Male teachers: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.



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Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Australia y Tel: (02) 6277 7460 Fax: (02) 6273 4116

MINISTER FOR

EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TRAINING THE HON DR BRENDAN NELSON MP

MEDIA RELEASE

3 March, 2003 MIN 295/03

MALE TEACHERS -

HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

I am disappointed by today’s decision of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to refuse an application by the Catholic Education Office for a temporary exemption to offer primary teacher training scholarships to male students only.

For some time I have been highlighting the need for more males to become teachers - particularly in Australia’s primary schools.

The urgency of that need is underlined by the release last week of a new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report, Schools Australia 2002.

The report finds that:

“Between 1992 and 2002, the proportion of male school teachers (in full time equivalent measure) declined from 25.8% to 20.9% in primary schools and from 49.4% to 44.9% in secondary schools.” Schools Australia 2002, p31, ABS report.

This picture becomes even bleaker when one considers the number of men currently in training to be primary teachers. Across the nation, there are only 4,247 males who are training to be primary reachers, which is 18.8 per cent of the total number of teachers in primary training - less than one in five.

I look forward to working with teachers and teacher educators to do all that we can to arrest this trend - the long term consequences of which will be significant.

For further information:

Dr Nelson’s Office Yaron Finkelstein 0414 927 663