Australia

Education minister concerned school curriculum changes could convey a ‘negative view of our history’

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He previously said the changes would lead to students having a hatred of Australia, including such commemorations as Anzac Day.

“Anzac Day should not be a contested idea, it is the most sacred day in the Australian calendar, which is very well understood by mainstream Australians,” he told reporters on Friday.

“It is by far and away the most important day on the Australian calendar and kids should be learning about what it means to Australians.”

The previous draft of the curriculum, released by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority in April said the changes may involve “debating the difference between commemoration and celebration of war”.

While he has been given a partial briefing on changes made to the draft curriculum, Mr Tudge said he was yet to see the full document.

The minister said in his speech he was concerned there was not enough focus on concepts such as Australia’s liberal democracy, suggesting young Australians would not be willing to support and defend those ideas.

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“It almost erased Christianity from our past, despite it being the single most important influence on our modern development,” he said in the speech.

The plan for the national curriculum would need to be signed off by state and territory education ministers.

“Some of my state colleagues have also seen insinuations in the draft national curriculum, and they can speak for themselves,” he said.

“As the federal minister, I want to ensure specifically that standards are increased.”

Labor’s Tony Burke described Mr Tudge’s proposal as “a bit weird”.

“In terms of history. I don’t think it’s complicated. History should be the study of what happened. Some of that’ll be good, some of that won’t be,” he said.

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