Yes, this morning’s Age contains the proof of a long-suspected malaise.
Our Premier yesterday announced the upgrading in various ways of three schools in suburban Melbourne, at a total cost of more than $10 million. Nice work if you can get it!
Juxtapose that story against a “Letter to the Editor” in that very same paper. It tells the very sad story of a young teacher who graduated in 2013. Not just your average graduate teacher. Rather, one who received “eight high distinctions, and exemplary comments from her teaching rounds”. Yet, this young teacher has received not even a single interview for a teaching position at any school whatsoever. And a similar situation pertains for many of her teacher graduate peers. This is tragic.
But, back to the top. Yes, the millions of dollars spent on the three schools in question will, doubtless, result in spick and span shining premises and equipment. And won’t those electronic interactive whiteboards and state-of-the-art data projectors look impressive!
But, will any of the teaching staff be able to actually USE them? Will anyone know how to wire them up, or to track down the technical problems causing them to “freeze” during a presentation?
Could it be that there would be considerable merit in spending money on PEOPLE rather than THINGS? People — teachers — young teachers — enthusiastic about their chosen profession, eager to make a positive contribution to students who would relish such support.
As we’ve said before, it’s not more money that’s needed. It’s the way the present bucket-full of funding is being spent that’s the problem.
And it’s not too late to do something about it.
Is it? Do you agree?