Education

The campaign against the Ramsay Centre’s proposed Western Civilisation degree continues.

A small but determined group of teachers, parents and students gathered in the rain on May 3 on the steps of the Victorian Parliament to demonstrate their opposition to the NAPLAN tests.

Bullshit Business is about the meaningless language conjured up in schools, in banks, in consultancy firms, in politics, and in the media.

Up to 20,000 Indian students and their supporters from around the country took to the streets of Delhi on February 7 to protest the Modi government’s attacks on students and universities, and to demand the right to education and employment.

After six days of strikes and mass mobilisations in the streets, Los Angeles teachers, joined on the picket lines and demonstrations by parents and students, won an important victory, Barry Sheppard writes from San Francisco, as they  held the line against further privatisation of the public schools.

In September, the federal Coalition government announced it would provide an extra $4.5 billion directly to fee-charging Catholic and independent schools, to be spent any way they choose.

NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes commented that his government will not sign up to a needs-based, sector-blind funding scheme, but it is neither of those things.

About 200 general and academic staff rallied at the University of Sydney on October 3 against management plans to cut jobs and services in the professional support staff area.

Many people think that university students have it all — time to read, think, sit in the sun and socialise — but that's just a mirage conjured up by glossy advertising.

The reality is vastly different.

More than 100 people attended a forum about Indigenous youth incarceration and education on August 8. Discussion focused on the links between the education system and skyrocketing imprisonment rates among young Indigenous people — dubbed the “school-prison pipeline”.

 

International and domestic students rallied outside the NSW state Labor Party conference on June 30, calling for an end to the discriminatory policy under which international students are ineligible for student travel concession cards.

Despite having more than 300,000 international students enrolled in universities across the state, NSW is the only state in Australia that does not give international students travel concessions.

A protest at the University of Sydney on June 27 demanded the University Senate drop its talks with the multibillion dollar Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, which had offered millions to the university to offer a “Western Civilisation” degree.

From July 1, students will be forced to start paying back their higher education loans much earlier, after the federal government found a way of getting part of its stalled education attacks through the Senate.

From the images doing the rounds, education minister Simon Birmingham had the crossbench senators right where he wanted them: in the palm of his hand.

Vice-chancellor of Australian National University (ANU) Brian Schmidt released a long statement on June 5 explaining why the university had ended negotiations to partner with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. He said it was because the centre wanted “unprecedented influence” as part of the deal.

1968 was one of those extraordinary years when millions of people were involved in trying to change the world for the better. Hall Greenland writes that the year's most compelling events took place in May and June on the streets of France.

Large-scale teacher-led rebellions against cuts and for workers’ rights have broken out in US states such as West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado. Although it has received less publicity, teachers are also rebelling in the US’s Caribbean colony of Puerto Rico.

Fighting to keep the island’s public schools open in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year, teachers are boycotting standardised tests and even teaming up with parents to occupy their schools.

The Victorian Labor government’s final budget before the November state election is strong on spending — for health, education and public transport, but unfortunately also for toll roads and law and order.

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