One Nation has revealed an education policy that is revolutionary as it will return the curriculum to the solid foundations of English, Maths and Science.
The policy also removes controversial overly-sexualised sex education that has shocked and frightened some Queensland parents and exposed what is a failed Government vetting process.
“My three points about the policy would be that it gets the children back to learning English, Mathematics and Science, which have been neglected; it teaches them how to think and not what to think; and it cleans up the curriculum and makes it wholesome,” said Christine Keys, a former school principal, One Nation’s education advisor and candidate for Mackay.
Ms Keys co-wrote most of the policy alongside Graeme Campbell, One Nation’s candidate for Glass House and also a former schoolteacher.
“What’s happening now in education is simply not working and that’s proven by the state’s poor NAPLAN* results,” Mr Campbell explained.
“Let teachers be teachers, let’s stop looking at all these abstract units of teaching and let’s get back to basics and give these kids skills.
“The other thing that’s really important about the One Nation policy is that we want to teach real life skills to these kids so that when they finish their education they will be more able to cope in real-life situations involving activities such as applying for a loan, doing their tax, enrolling to vote.”
Alongside a return to solid traditional academic foundations, the policy also removes damaging sexualised subjects.
“We need to get rid of the Respectful Relationships program, which is just Safe Schools by another name,” Ms Keys said.
“There is such filth in that particular program that I personally think it’s child abuse; I don’t want my granddaughter going in to Prep and being told just because she has a v****a it doesn’t mean she’s a girl. It’s just rubbish and it flies in the face of Science.”
The party’s sensible, practical and protective policy has the full backing of One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who is adamant schools should equip children to achieve success in life and career, without politicised and sexualised content.
“Our children need our help to learn practical skills and concepts and set themselves up for their working careers, and they can’t achieve that if the adults they rely on are feeding them rubbish from a flawed curriculum,” Senator Hanson said.
“One Nation’s policy aims to rectify those massive shortfalls, give the kids a solid foundation of learning and understanding, and an ability to think for themselves; to help them become resourceful and independent, which is what parents want.”
Mr Campbell commented: “When we wrote this policy, we listened to people with a lot of experience in the education area, and it was obvious in their opinions that the curriculum has gone too far ‘out there’ and the concepts are just not basic helpful concepts anymore. We need to address that.”
The One Nation Education policy includes as key foundations:
- Prioritise the development of comprehension, reading, writing, science, and mathematical skills
- Ensure the learn-to-read programs are based on the explicit teaching of phonics**
- Demand entry requirements for teaching university degrees to be substantially increased to reflect the top 30% of the adult population
- Abolish Queensland’s ‘Respectful Relationships’ program and instead introduce a basic sex education lesson that informs young adults of STDs and forms of protection
- Reform Social Science and Cultural studies to ensure a balanced and evidence-based content when teaching
- Increase funding of chaplaincy programs throughout schools to provide pastoral care for student well-being and community cohesion
- Reintroduce competition in our classrooms and remove the ‘everyone’s a winner’ belief
- Implement teacher salaries equal to their level of training and responsibility
- Encourage a greater balance between men and women teachers
The policy also aims to rebuild numbers of male teachers, who have for many years been leaving the education sector.
“I’m an ex-teacher myself. I was on a staff of 18 and I was the only male teacher. I’d like to see that imbalance reduced; men are important role models for kids and they're also really valuable in schools,” Mr Campbell said.
“The landscape for children now has changed with more single parent families, so I think it is necessary to have more males around so these kids can look up to men and not be scared of them in public life.”
Interestingly, failures of the Queensland Education system have been exposed as a result of the Covid-19 closures.
“This is a really good time for an election, because parents have been using the remote learning program with their children and they’re not happy with what they see, and the lack of academic progress in their children,” Ms Keys said.
“I have a friend whose daughter is upset because she discovered that her Grade 5 child doesn’t know her two-times tables, because they don’t have time to learn them at school.
“When reading newsletters written by many principals I cringe at the poor quality of spelling, punctuation and grammar, and some of the things I’ve heard teachers say and teach in classrooms have been totally incorrect and misleading. It’s a terrible indictment on our education system.
“So, my heart is to get the children back to learning what they need to know to become really worthwhile citizens, adults who can cope. One Nation’s education policy aims to achieve that.”