13 April, 2016. 12:23
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A REPORT COMMISSIONED BY the Federal Teachers Federation has outlined an alarming figure – that almost every voter in the country has heard about the Gonski Report in one way or another, but they “don’t really know” what it is.
In addition to this disturbing trend, the study also discovered that it’s very difficult for voters to care about something they don’t understand.
One respondent to the Federation’s survey said that from what he’s heard, Gonski is supposed to be good for schools but the party he votes for says something else.
“I don’t know what to believe,” said a Victorian 41-year-old tow truck owner.
“What is it? Is it just a cash injection into an industry largely saturated with unions and Catholics? I don’t want to see the Department of Education turn into the ABC, with all that rot in executive positions getting paid way too much,” she said.
“Teachers get paid really well, they get good hours and 10 weeks paid holiday a year. But is Gonski more than just a pay rise? I have no idea.”
That respondent’s sentiments were echoed by a primary education student Amy Bentennelly, who isn’t sure if Gonski is a good thing for schools because she doesn’t fully understand what it entails.
While she knows that the report itself is a series of recommendations made by an independent review into Australia’s education system, which is already one of the greatest on the planet, she’s unsure whether it’ll actually work.
“I went to that I Give A Gonski website thing when our lecturer told us to but it’s only half of the story I think,” said the 22-year-old.
“Most of the time I clash with my lecturer because she’s a 49-year-old socialist bull dyke and I grew up in Balmoral as my Dad is a largely successful businessman who plays tennis with Joe Hockey. Maybe I’d care a bit more if I was a leftie – or maybe I’ll start caring when I’m actually a teacher. Who knows?”
Macy Donald has been the principal of South Betoota Primary School for nearly 30 years and her front garden, car and school are all adorned with pro-Gonski advertising. In terms of advocacy for the independent review, she’s right behind it.
“There’s not a teacher in the country who’s anti-Gonski,” said the 61-year-old teacher.
“It’s putting money into school resources and closing the funding gap, which is currently done by the P&C and sometimes out of a teacher’s own pocket. That’s all. It’s only going to make things better than what they already are.”