Ask a monkey a question and he’ll tell you about bananas.
So when we decide, as apparently we have, that there are questions to be raised about education standards, we ask economists and they tell us about distributing money better. We ask teachers and they complain about pay and too many tests. We ask parents and they give you anecdotes about their own children. We ask bureaucrats and they form a dozen committees and ask for a written question in triplicate for each of them.
I’m no expert, but our comparative international skill level seems to be a worry; so does basing annual funding on a one-off “snapshot” (its own definition of itself – I prefer “myopic”) test like NAPLAN. And so does enhancing teacher proficiency in any sort of practical sense.
There may be many other worries than just these but the point is that they are not the problems – these are just the symptoms of whatever the real ailment is. And, of course, there may be multiple real ailments.
Perhaps the ancient Athenians had the answer – a group of passably intelligent citizens selected by lot (not elected, not appointed, just drawn out of a hat) to decide what’s wrong and, more importantly, what caused it; rather an ear specialist handing a consumptive a pack of Throaties because he has a cough.
If we continue to seek answers from “experts” whose narrow fields of expertise limit wider – and more intuitive – vision we may as well ask the monkeys as well; I’m sure that “more bananas are needed” would get funded by someone in government.
Robert Walker, Wagga
Hard to argue with logic
It is hard to disagree with the farmer I heard on the ABC country hour who said that the millions set aside to make yet another memorial to James Cook would buy a lot of feed to help the rural industry that is either in drought or facing drought.
I think that yet another Cook memorial is about equal to knighting a certain royal duke.
There are many needs in our nation that need help; a caring government should have different priorities.
Mary Kidson, Wagga
Thank you Junee for your hospitality
My friend Maureen and I spent a most enjoyable weekend in Junee, there was so much to see and do, including contact with a ghost.
After getting off the train we had a chat with Ray Warren, then off to find our motel, we called into a shop to ask where it was, the lady (she will know who I mean) offered to drive us, we were very grateful.
After visiting the Broadway Museum, which we found amazing and so well set up, we inquired how far was it to the Round House Railway Museum. Bev said to far for us to walk, so she drove us, with instructions to ring her when we were done, so she could pick us up.
The taxi driver Lisa (I think) made herself available to give us the a tour of the town with commentary.
We were very impressed with your lovely town, which on all accounts seems to be doing very well.
Thanks Lawrence for drive to station to catch our train, the Mansion was a very memorable night and we are still talking about it.