Monday, 26 July 2010

Our tax money, not at work

Australia federal government's funding of chaplains for public schools has been previously discussed in this blog (here and here). With elections coming up and with me learning a few more things about NSCP (National School Chaplaincy Programme) phenomenon, I thought the time is right the shed a bit more light into this mote in Australian society’s eye.

One of the justifications made for the chaplain program is to provide schools with tools to deal with school bullying. With that in mind, reading the submission made on behalf of the The Australian Psychological Society to the government (here) makes for some first rate reading: the psychologists – the undisputed professional authority for dealing with issues such as bullying – virtually tear the NSCP program apart with criticism as they point out the numerous problems introduced when untrained people – chaplains – are allowed to deal with problems that deserve the utmost professionalism. Religion, the pros claim, does not solve bullying; the money should go elsewhere.
Yet Australian media won’t deal with this potential political bombshell.

Next we move on to a government funding report (here), telling us of schools that won chaplain funding. Noticeable in this list is Xavier College, a prestigious private Catholic school. When it comes to funding, Xavier is not exactly your neediest school around; if anything, it sits on one of Australia’s most expensive bits of real estate at Kew.
Yet poor old Xavier still asked for (and received) $60,000 to fund a commodity that it should have more than enough of already in a Catholic school: a chaplain. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Our government sure knows where we can make the most of our buck when it comes to our children’s education, doesn’t it?
Yet Australian media won’t deal with this potential political bombshell.

What can we take out of this?Seante's
In an environment where the opposition is hungry for more government financial fumbles it is clear that the above should have been made a meal of. But that didn’t happen, because too many people, both in politics and in the media, want the government money to go to the religious organizations behind the NSCP. It seems our government's purpose is to take care of their mates; if children's education comes in the way, who cares.
What can we do about it? That’s simple: we vote for parties do dare speak their minds against this vile program to damage our kids. These include The Secular Party, The Australian Democrats, The Australian Sex Party, and The Greens. Sadly, the latter do not seem to have a formal policy on the matter, even if from time to time they do create some noise; it would be nice if this party that claims the Senate's balance of power goes that one extra step towards maturity.

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