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Contending cowardice on swimming at schools

By johnboy - 11 December 2012 37

The ABC is having a go at the various arms of ACT Education which have been, through competing arse-coverings, bringing an end to swimming at schools:

The ACT Government is reviewing a controversial safety policy that has led some schools to cancel swimming carnivals.

Under the policy, students are not allowed to take part in school swimming activities until they pass a swimming competency test.

The new provisions are in response to a near-drowning at a carnival earlier this year.

Education Minister Joy Burch says education officials will consult with the community about the best way to ensure student safety.

“This policy is about trying to find the right balance between how do we ensure to the best we can that children are safe at a water activity but at the same time making sure that kids are encouraged to participate,” she said.

Kids go to school to learn things, if we’re leaving swimming to the parents why have schools at all?

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
Contending cowardice on swimming at schools
1
nov865 12:44 pm
11 Dec 12
#

Well done Joy; putting yet another barrier in the way of kids participating in healthy exercise. Try engaging your brain for once in your miserable ministerial life! Kids at school swimming carnivals are subject to a higher level of supervision that usually found in a backyard pool. What’s next you peanut, banning swimming pools all together?

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2
Duffbowl 12:52 pm
11 Dec 12
#

“Kids go to school to learn things, if we’re leaving swimming to the parents why have schools at all?”

I’m hoping there is a sarcasm tag missing…

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3
Grail 1:09 pm
11 Dec 12
#

So how long until johnboy’s five year plan comes into effect, where all responsibility for raising and educating children falls to the state and adult citizens are only required for livestock breeding purposes?

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4
Conan of Cooma 1:16 pm
11 Dec 12
#

“Kids go to school to learn things…”

Reminds me of that God awful song on that old Telstra ad:

“You mean stuff to me…”

I don’t trust the education system with Jack Shit. If your kids didn’t learn something, and you blame the education system, then you deserve to be shot for child abuse.

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5
Gerry-Built 1:21 pm
11 Dec 12
#

This year, in the school I teach at, parents had to sign a note saying their child was able to competently swim 25m… next year, i suppose we’ll have notes going home to say their child can competently walk 50m and walk up 1 flight of stairs, yes?

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6
Chop71 1:27 pm
11 Dec 12
#

yup, more cotton wool for the little tackers

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7
poetix 1:30 pm
11 Dec 12
#

At my daughter’s previous (government) school they weren’t allowed to do high jump or discus or javelin in case of injury.

Meanwhile, there’s an obesity problem, which is hardly safe, in a longer term sense, is it? This particular policy could lead to swimming becoming a middle class skill, and therefore, to more deaths by drowning of those who miss out. That redefines safe, too.

Remember that not all parents know how to swim, and that private lessons are quite expensive. All children should have access to basic swimming lessons through school, as well as annual carnivals.

It’s every Straylian’s right to be terrified by the tough kids at the pool.

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8
p1 1:42 pm
11 Dec 12
#

Under the policy, students are not allowed to take part in school swimming activities until they pass a swimming competency test.

Let me guess – swimming competency tests are only held at school swimming activities? Amirite?

While I understand the desire for risk minimisation, and the desire for arse covering (at least from an individual teacher point of view), I would like to see a comparison between school swimming carnivals now, and how they existed 20 years ago. I’m sure over they time rules and requirements have been progressively tightened to make them safer and safer. Is removing the actual “swimming” part the only possible safety action left to be taken?

Perhaps swimming carnivals in the future should involve the children sitting in a climate controlled, padded room watching Finding Nemo?

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9
thebrownstreak69 2:13 pm
11 Dec 12
#

Gerry-Built said :

This year, in the school I teach at, parents had to sign a note saying their child was able to competently swim 25m… next year, i suppose we’ll have notes going home to say their child can competently walk 50m and walk up 1 flight of stairs, yes?

Really?

Can walking 50m or walking up 1 flight of stairs result in death?

I’m all for pushing our kids a bit, and getting rid of cotton wool. How about we just go with what has worked in the past – teach our kids to make sensible decisions and get teachers to supervise the children under their care?

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10
harley 2:14 pm
11 Dec 12
#

I had a look for a media release or something, but can’t find anything.

but – swimming carnivals != swimming lessons.

carnivals are for sport, the learning is done in a swimming lesson. My boy is doing lessons every day at the moment, and selection was based on ability, with the lower abilities given preference.

The school did their carnival some months ago, and students had to demonstrate competence for that.

I’m not seeing the problem here. No one is stopping lessons.

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11
Chop71 2:35 pm
11 Dec 12
#

It takes a lot of cotton wool to run a nanny state.

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12
Tetranitrate 2:54 pm
11 Dec 12
#

How was it that a kid couldn’t swim in the first place?
I remember the school busing kids to swimming lessons once a week for a term or something, every year from Kindergarten through to about year 3 or 4.

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13
steele_blade 3:33 pm
11 Dec 12
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harley said :

swimming carnivals != swimming lessons.

Or for those who only read vb – swimming carnivals swimming lessons.

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14
Deref 4:05 pm
11 Dec 12
#

This is a direct result of our copying the US and catching their litigious disease. No wonder governments become risk-averse when there are hordes of ambulance-chasing lawyers ready to jump on the slightest misfortune and take them – and the victim – to the cleaners.

The government had the right idea to put an end to this nonsense, and it’s no surprise at all that the legal profession (and I use the term loosely) spent vast amounts of money campaigning against it.

Don’t blame the government for their risk-aversion – blame them for allowing lawyers to advertise and to work “no win, no fee”.

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15
Gungahlin Al 5:06 pm
11 Dec 12
#

I don’t see why some people are going all “stacks on” on Joy Burch for this? Some schools are over-reacting and stopping swimming carnivals. Seems she’s trying to get some common sense in there. Seems it’s those schools you should be copping the criticism.

When I were lad, swimming and athletics carnivals were the glue of school years. We trained for months (especially us swimmers) and bonded as schools as teams for the big days. Along the way, most of us learnt how to swim to save ourselves.

Meanwhile (and apols to RA oldtimers who’ve read my rants on this before), adults and children from inland towns continue to holiday at the beach and drown themselves. I’ve seen grown men lifesavers reduced to tears describing dragging lifeless bodies from the surf of people who couldn’t swim out of a basic rip. It makes you really appreciate how important in this water-centric society of ours good basic swimming skills are.

I used to chair the Sunshine Coast Water Safety Advisory Committee, and the enduring concern of all the emergency services reps on my committee was the lack of swimming skills of holidaymakers from inland areas. That’s us here. Our schools – and swimming carnivals – play vital roles in doing something about it.

PS: Surely two months after the election, Chief Minister’s Department (NB: CMD not CMO) has had ample time to get their shit together and start publishing media releases for ministers other than the CM??

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