Education should be reformed to teach children a more positive perspective on Australia’s culture and history, distancing itself from progressive-leaning views which seek to undermine traditional values, according to United Australia Party (UAP) leader Craig Kelly MP.
In a wide-ranging interview with Emeritus Law Professor David Flint, Kelly, who last year resigned from the Liberal Party to join the UAP, said “history is not taught” to young Australians and that the current education minister needed to unwind the “toxic, leftist, and defeatist agenda being fed to kids in school.”
“Kids in general need to be told what great opportunities they have and that they are better off than their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather … and how much longer their life expectancy is than 100 years ago,” he told Flint in an episode of Australia Calling, which can be viewed on The Epoch Times website, as well as Rumble and YouTube.
“That’s the first thing to be done. The second is to undo the damage that [former Prime Minister Julia] Gillard did when she was health minister—the Melbourne Declaration (pdf),” he said. “It had three overriding themes, which was sustainability … every subject was taught through the prism of climate change.”
The other two areas were Indigenous studies and Asia.
“To embed all those across the curriculum, rather than just learn about a particular subject on its own merits, I think the former prime minister did enormous damage to our national curriculum,” he said.
“There’s a very strong leftist agenda. I see some of these kids coming out of school and think, ‘You almost need to be de-programmed.’”
The makeup of the Australian curriculum has been a hot topic over the course of 2021.
Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge told the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to substantially rewrite the draft otherwise it would not be approved.
“The overarching impression from the curriculum is that the main feature of western civilisation is slavery, imperialism, and colonisation,” he wrote in a letter to ACARA obtained by News Corp’s The Australian.
Kelly applauded Tudge’s actions and hoped it would continue receiving full backing from the Liberal National government. Meanwhile, Kelly also called for a move away from education being managed by the federal government, and instead, full responsibility be allocated to the states.
“They’re probably far better decentralised, giving parents the choice to see what curriculum they offer,” he said. “Let parents choose. There’ll be so much more competitive pressure among the different areas and states.”