Tag Archives: education

50.03 June 1, 2017

$12,000 reward for wedge-tailed eagle shooting, U3A for Fingal Valley?, Falmouth Community Centre Jam Session coming up, Cagerattler, Hub4Health Walking Group update, $13m for Break O’Day, Over the Years, First edition page 3, Hub4Health news, Out of the Woodwork, ‘Fred’, 365 tomorrows, crosswords and puzzle, SMCHC news, North East Animal Sanctuary news, St Marys Sports Centre Inc. news and more …

48.09 August 27, 2015

BODC restores Fingal Valley services, crisis for lawn bowls in St Marys, Cagerattler, Out of the Woodwork, Break O’Day Multi-purpose Indoor Stadium update, Abundant Soul Cafe opening, BOD Stitchers news, St Marys District School news, Lions Club of St Helens update, how dogs and cats see colours, Healthy House Walking Group, SMCHC news, St Marys Sports and Social Club update…

47.21 March 26th, 2015

Mobile Breastscreen Unit back in the Fingal Valley, Circle of 4 Exhibition, Letters to the Editor, Open Letter from Peter and Beverley Rubenach, Break O’Day Multi-purpose Stadium Stage 1 update, Cagerattler, Anzac Memorial in Avoca, Follyfoot Friends, AMIC update, GET update, St Marys District School calendar, Singing for health, Community Cat Forum and Declared areas, Sport and Social Centre update…

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

Re: Half of all Tasmanians are functionally illiterate and innumerate: VV 12 October 2013

Mr Jensen’s suggestion of moving students into better, larger schools “to afford specialist literacy and numeracy teachers that would benefit all students” does not address any of the root causes of this serious, complex and societal problem.

Firstly, education begins at home long before children commence school. Parents have a responsibility to help their children to learn and grow and function in the world they brought them into. You can have all the specialist

teachers in the world but if that child does not have a home where parents support and assist their learning, as I have seen first hand in my experience as a school executive officer, that child remains illiterate, innumerate and condemned to lifelong poverty, not only financially but mentally, spiritually and emotionally – condemned to a life of “low expectation” that they in turn pass on to their children and their children’s children.

That “the education system in Tasmania has a history of low expectations” is not only a condemnation of the system but a tragic reflection on Tasmanian society as a whole.  Where have these “low expectations” come from and what has created them?

Systems do not create themselves, they are created by people, so successive Tasmanian governments must share the blame as must we, the people who voted for them. Statistics show that Tasmania has the second highest teenage pregnancy rate in Australia – the first being the Northern Territory. Statistics also show that a high    number of children in this state are classified as being disadvantaged – is this a result of “low expectations?”

It is a sad fact that literacy and its teaching all over Australia has suffered from the so called “literacy wars” where states and academics have fought over how literacy

should be taught since the seventies. No national curriculum has meant that standards varied from state to state, impacting both teachers and children.

In 2008 when attending an orientation course at UTAS, I was asked not to answer the simple grammatical questions the facilitator put to the class because she was aware that I had been taught these things and that many of these young men and women who had just finished high school and were entering university did not know the difference between “its” and “it’s”.  A sad indictment indeed.

Literacy is more than learning to read or simply functioning in this world we inhabit – it is the key to learning,  growing, opportunity, understanding, tolerance and compassion, to a world of wonder, innovation, technology and many other things that enrich our lives as a person and a society. It is the key to the future.

Elizabeth Elliott, St Marys.