Private vs Public schools – again

And just who is Steve Biddulph (SunHerald 10 June), author of Raising boys in the 21st century.
Is he a credible author; is he an “authority” on raising boys in the 21st century; who is he to broadbrush boys at the private school to which Biddulph’s “friends” sent their son Kieran as aggressive, affluent, entitled, unanchored, with much trash-talking about girls, sharing of gross pornography, boasting about sexual experiences real or imagined. All this implicitly suggesting that none of this occurred at Kieran’s previous school – a public school…while these privileged boys were like street corner thugs.
Come on Steve, get around, talk to more people than you apparently have and you will find that there are thugs in every area, not only in privileged schools and well mannered, decent boys also in every school..
It looks to me like the old green-eyed monster – envy and it rears its ugly head every so often in the Letters pages.


The poor old HSC

So now, the latest of many ideas in the educating of our young people, they will actually sit for the HSC and will need to pass.
This will be a big shock because students have lived on the “you don’t need to pass the HSC” for several years with a resultant casual attitude towards this exam and probably a whole wave of students lacking literacy, numeracy and writing skills for their future in jobs/university.
Wouldn’t it be good if the brains behind the education system could settle down and actually TEACH the basics and stop trying out ideas on our poor confused students.

Part 2 – Do we want a Republic

Regarding the Republic I suggest that we ask Prince Charles – he may be willing to “Patron” the new Party – hasn’t he told us several times over the years that he couldn’t believe that we haven’t yet grasped the nettle. Anybody as old as I am would remember that there were moves and agitation pre-WW2 towards a Republic but the War intervened and youthful exuberance – not “King and country” as some like to say/think took over.  I never heard (yes, that’s how old I am) a soldier/sailor/airman say they were going to fight for king and country.  They were very often unemployed (33% unemployed prior to the War during the Great Depression and mostly women could not work) ; it was a job; there would be travel; mates were joining up and “we would be home for Christmas”.
But “do we want a republic” and my suggestion is to start a Party – a Parliamentary Party who could represent our wishes.   The point is – A Party would have leverage in Parliament (see Hanson, Xenophon, etc. etc.) and I do think that there would be many on the Coalition side of politics favouring the Party.  The Labor Party has a Republic on their Agenda – so no trouble there – but we need voices in Parliament…good intelligent voices to make a case for a rapid, orderly move from the Monarchy stage through to an Australian Republic – We need preparation; organisation; Parliamentary publicity; many people to appeal to young people who, dare I say it – don’t take much notice of anything in the media or on TV –  not from the point of view of “what will it do for me” but “it’s a principle”.



Another day…another new school year and what will it bring? I suggest that it would be great for it to bring “back to basics” in Primary school. If kids learn the basics they will absorb the higher subjects – later – in their school lives – much better and perhaps we won’t be hearing about “arriving at Uni unable to read ” or “finishing school unable to put two words together intelligently”.
So back to basics – start school to be educated with a good foundation.

comparing religions – is it good for kids

“The Students of many, equal gods” – News Sun Herald 23 March. Reading the remarks from parents/principal of the John Colet School I couldn’t help feeling so sorry for those kids being given all those conflicting ideas at their early age when they really are not equipped to think analytically. They are getting no certainty just when they need certainty. Do those educators/parents leave open for these kids which country they belong to? Do they leave open just who is/are their parent/s? Do they tell the kids “you can decide on these matters when you are old enough to make up your own minds”.

Faith – whichever one is chosen – is a certainty for the kids just as their parents and their country is. And we can be sure that kids will actually decide some time in the future what their faith will be – but when they are able to actually decide for themselves.

Is that the problem we see in so many young people these days that there is little certainty in their lives, everything is so fuzzy and so they drift into – whatever?

Indigenous education

Very interesting reading in the Sydney Morning Herald – “More Aboriginal children making it right to the top” News, 11 August but did those who constantly complain about “elite” schools read it and take in the fact that almost 3000 indigenous students are enrolled in boarding schools this year. When you calculate that every student would be costing the schools they attend at least $20,000 p.a. plus uniforms etc. it makes a sizeable contribution to the advancement of indigenous youth. Would those who complain also recognise that the parents of children attending those schools are actually the people paying for these Indigenous youth? I doubt that those who complain would be at all interested in a bit of fair thinking.

Bust size

Watching a news item about faulty breast implants, I wondered “what has happened to feminism”?
The young and attractive woman having trouble with a particular faulty breast implant was asked why she had had them inserted in the first place. Her reply was astonishing in this year of 2013: she had not felt like a woman. She felt that breast implants (presumably an increase in size) would make her more confident and more womanly.
Have we learned nothing in the fight of the past years that this young and attractive woman and presumably others, felt that their bust size defined them as women?
Where have we gone wrong?
What have we learned?