Nothing new in Premier?s plan

By NADINE FISHER

POLITICIANS should seek input from teachers before sprouting off what will be implemented in schools to promote patriotism and respect according to NSW Teachers Federation vice president Chris Goudkamp.

The comments come in the wake of NSW Premier Morris Iemma's plans to play the national anthem before class compulsory in NSW schools in a bid to create respect in the community.

Mr Goudkamp, who teaches at Murwillumbah Public School and is also secretary of the Murwillumbah Teachers Association, said many schools already play the anthem, but it was not something he believed should be compulsory.

"We already spend a lot of time talking about values and respect ? it is part of our curriculum and part of what we already implement in schools," Mr Goudkamp said.

"At Murwillumbah Public School we have children from all different backgrounds and we teach them to get along through respect and values."

Mr Goudkamp said the idea from the NSW Premier was a very simplistic reaction to the Cronulla riots last month.

"I don't know what else he expected ? Australian studies are already embedded in our school through the curriculum, and, as a teacher, a lot of emphasis is placed on learning about Australia and its history," he said.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma said the recent Cronulla riots demonstrated the need to build respect for authority within the community.

He said the plan's education component would involve every school being issued with a CD recording of the national anthem, while primary schools will be required to introduce "Australian values" studies from the beginning of this school year and expand the "Three Rs" to five - reading, writing, arithmetic, respect and responsibility.



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