News.com.au is reporting that students should not be forced to learn Prime Minister John Howard’s version of Australian history according to the the NSW and ACT governments.
Mr Howard will launch the federal government’s guide to Australian history at Moorebank High School in Sydney’s west today, which will make it mandatory for all year 9 and 10 students to study the subject.
Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop said the compulsory teaching of Australian history would be a condition of the federal-state schools 2009-2012 funding agreement.
“The states have already said, and they said it at the time of the Australian history summit, that they agreed with the Commonwealth Government’s position, they agreed with the Howard Government that the teaching of Australian history should be compulsory in Years nine and 10, and taught in a sequential way throughout primary school and secondary school,” she said.
But NSW and the ACT governments have accused the Federal Government of bullying and political interference.
ACT Education Minister Andrew Barr said the Federal Government’s move was similar to its threat to impose the HSC on the ACT.
He said history was already taught in ACT schools.
“It is this same old bullying approach, where if you don’t do exactly what we want, well, we will cut your funding,” he said on ABC radio.
“What we are effectively being asked to adopt here is … John Howard’s version of Australian history.
“To suggest that, as the Prime Minister has, that if the states and territories do not adopt the Prime Minister’s guide to the teaching of Australian history that funding will be cut … that’s a significant level of political interference into what’s being taught in our schools.”
NSW Education Minister John Della Bosca said Australian history had already been compulsory for all year nine and 10 students in the state since 1999.
“John Howard is at least eight years behind the times,” Mr Della Bosca said today.
“John Howard has lost any ability to work co-operatively.
“He makes these tired threats to cut funding, but he’s essentially copying the rigorous NSW curriculum and trying to impose it across the country.”
[Ed. I noticed that CT had a bit of coverage on this issue today as well. Its been a while since i did history but i seem to vaguely recall learning something about australian history during it.]