Rudd: "Education Prime Minister"

If I want to be known as one thing, if I’m elected as Prime Minister later this year, it will be as the Education Prime Minister. –Rudd

JONES: Well, surely with that public investment in education, because I think it’s a very good point, now surely we must start with what we pay lecturers. I mean, if they are poorly paid and researchers are poorly paid, they move into the private sector, we lose them from the instructional role they play in universities, but the quality of instruction is devalued, the quality teaching for them going to secondary school is devalued, and the whole problem multiplies. Are we paying university staff, academics, enough?
RUDD: The answer to that is no. And I think it goes to the question of how do we, as a nation and as a community concerned about who we are and what we value and what we do with out[sic] future, valuing education –

Australian Labor Party: Polls; Traveston Dam; Education; Tristar

Kevin Rudd - Federal Labor Leader

This from an interview by Alan Jones with Kevin Rudd on 2GB radio, 25th January 2007.

Reinstating values seems to be a fundamental driver in putting Rudd’s education revolution into action I’d say. I’n not a fan of Jones, but he asks some pertinent questions during this interview, concerning the devaluing of lecturers and teachers, the demise of HECS for the working family, the tension between State and Federal control over education, and the standards of university education in Australia. And points like this:

…only 250 students a year now graduate from universities with honours
degrees or higher level qualifications in mathematics and statistics,
250. Now, that’s going to affect the quality of our teachers in
mathematics. So, if there’s a problem in the system about enough
engineers, about enough mathematicians, enough scientists, enough
dentists or doctors, shouldn’t we build a bias into the system whereby
we give people scholarships to follow that academic pursuit and
indenture them after they graduate?

I’d say we need to go back further and into primary schools and assess how we approach teaching maths and science at an early age. Rudd is right to look at all levels of education, as each impacts heavily on the next.

Wouldn’t it be great to see all levels and sectors of education talking to one another? But what came first the chicken or the egg?

P.S. Might be worth noting that after reading Christopher Sessums’ post on the US also needing an education revolution, it seems that their “next president needs to be an educator — a visionary who understands the importance and value of teaching, learning, technology, and its social significance” is equally as strong.

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