The year 2017 has been an interesting one in the political landscape. I receive many questions from the community about how this will impact on schools and, in particular, the classroom.
One of the most recent is that of Federal politicians with dual citizenship being stood down. In a country which is largely multicultural this has created great instability in the political arena.
Many of our citizens have heritage from other countries and the constitution has not developed to respect this. Many political seats have had to re-elect Federal ministers at great cost to the taxpayers.
Another influence this year has been the requirement of students to reach band 8 in literacy and numeracy in year 9 NAPLAN to prequalify for the HSC.
This created concern and stress for students, parents and schools. NAPLAN went ahead as usual and the good news for year 9 students is that there will be many opportunities over the next few years to retake parts of NAPLAN to show mastery at band 8 level.
The Yes/No vote dominated the media and political arena for months. There were emotive campaigns; there were scare messages and those of respecting human rights.
The result was that the majority of the Australian public voted yes for same sex marriage rights.
Education, as it has always been, is about information not opinion. Teachers are trained to provide fact about legal issues and relationship types.
The curriculum materials are currently being reviewed to ensure an unbiased view.
For every school there should be messages about personal values, accepting each other for who they are and allowing all to live with respect and dignity. It is about each person having the same human rights.
This year our Government opened the borders to refugee families from Syria. Many were relocated to our wonderful city. As a school with an Intensive English Centre we welcomed 68 families.
They have settled into our community and school showing they are striving to learn and live in Australia as productive citizens.
Schools are teaching students to go into the world and make great decisions and have a positive impact on the world.
Congratulations to all the teachers who have guided students this year. Teaching is a noble profession.
Beth Godwin, Principal
Cabramatta High School