Wednesday, 15 October 2014

And now a word from our sponsors

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott chatted with 11th-grader Guy Burnham during a tour of P-TECH on Wednesday. AARON SHOWALTER/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
It sounds all so benign, doesn't it? A major corporation "partners" with the government to fund an educational institution focused on "equipping" students with practical workplace skills.

Kids end up with practical, hands-on work experience and first-in-line for jobs at major firms, while corporations get to spread their own propaganda give back to the community and tap an enthusiastic source of labour. What could possibly go wrong?

Not a lot, according to education minister Christopher Whine, imploring Australians to bow down to their corporate overlords: "We could have McDonalds or IBM or BHP Billiton or Iluka or Santos or manufacturing businesses involved in their local schools."

I for one can't wait to see a science class 'presented' by BHP Billiton, Food Tech by McDonalds and Media by News Corp. It would actually prepare students quite well for the sad reality of Australian life.

In one fell swoop, the government would be rid of global warming, the obesity epidemic and any sort of human conscience respectively. And the federal government could redirect that wasted education funding to the states in order to focus on, you know, chaplaincy programmes and mass surveillance programmes. Winningest!

In order to meet the Coalition's stringent criteria for policy implementation, this particular education policy has no supporting evidence whatsoever.

Not like those pesky Scandinavians with their saunas, reindeer and consistently brilliant education systems.

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