“Have our children become pieces in a chess game?”
With the Federal Election fast approaching, suddenly everyone has something to say about politics and what each party is offering. What people tend to forget prior to the election, is that it is what parties do in the three years leading up to this big day that really counts, not the extravagant promises days before.
As President of NSW P&C Federation, I speak with parents daily, discussing concerns regarding their children’s education and more recently the concerns for the entire family’s future.
One of the most repeated recent questions is “what election outcome will be the best thing for my family?” Whilst the answer to that question should surely be addressed by the candidates in this election – It does make me pause to consider exactly HOW a child’s education became another tool in the Election Campaign or for lack of a better phrase ‘a carrot to be waved in front of anxious parents’ – who desperately want a decent education for their children.
Isn’t education a right for all and not a privilege to be pleaded for? As a modern western civilisation is this really the best we can do for public education? Do the leaders of today care about the children of tomorrow?
P&C Federation has valid concerns for the future of public education. We believe that the opportunity for our children to access quality and fully funded public education should not become an enticing piece used in the Election chess game for power. It must be what it was always meant to be, a fundamental right!
To be clear, this fundamental right is being ignored through the damning decisions not to ensure public schools are at the minimum resource standards, per the governments report released in February 2012.
With public schools experiencing a massive shortage of resources, whilst trying to deliver a 21st-century learning environment, parents are being asked to dig deeper to compensate past government offices lack of accountability toward our school system and our children.
When it comes to the funding argument for public schools, I get that some people see it as a well-worn subject and you’re absolutely right; it is, but until something is done to correct this uneven playing field it is essential that we do not let our children’s education become a monotone buzz.
Our advocacy needs to remain as loud and persistent as possible as it is for every public school in NSW right now!
As a society, regardless of whether your child attends a public or private school, it is important to recognise need when you see it.
Parents of both public and private schools need to say, ‘enough is enough’ – call on your MP to provide fairness and equitably of education for all. Use your vote, put pressure on your candidate’s shoulders now. Millions of children are counting on us all, to allow them a decent education.
Susie Boyd, President of P&C Federation NSW