Wednesday, November 29

The kids we try to help

WE'RE gathered around a table in the high school library, the small group of volunteer tutors who help out once a week, and we're sharing sandwiches and a cuppa. As I join the conversation, I 'm also thinking about some of the kids we've helped – or tried to help – over the past few years. What will become of them?

There was one lad, three years older than his classmates, brought up by his grandparents because his parents were drug addicts. Both grandparents had just died, and I think he would have benefited from counselling.

I was disturbed it took a volunteer to discover his needs. Perhaps a chaplain would have helped. But why a chaplain? Why is the Prime Minister offering public schools $20,000 to hire chaplains?

Is it to break down the secular foundation of public education, which has served us so well? Or is it to raise the moral values of Australians? That would be a bit rich, coming from a leader who tells lies and scratches up xenophobia to achieve his ends.

And I know many of the kids I've tried to help will get regular Es on the compulsory A-to-E grading system to be introduced by prime ministerial diktat. For what purpose?

For my full diatribe, click to my grumpy old tutor page.

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