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What sets Catholic Education apartů Archbishop Philip Wilson

In the midst of the present passionate debate about values in education, Adelaide Archbishop, Philip Wilson, says the Church is not primarily interested in Year 12 matriculation but in what happens when people die.

The controversy over the political correctness of education and the values taught in schools continued yesterday. In The Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide sought to explain what sets Catholic education apart:

"The Catholic education and the Catholic schooling system is not oriented towards the matriculation exams at the end of Year 12," he said.

"It really isn't our main concern, or university entrance. What we are concerned with is what happens to people when they die."

Archbishop Wilson said he believed Australia's education system gave parents a choice of what sort of philosophy they wanted for their children. "I would hope that the distinctions people would see would be as a result of the values and the religious faith that would enliven the life of the school," he said.

"Our aim is to do that in such a way that it is innovative and different from what others are doing. It has to be formed by values that are ours, that belong to the Catholic Church.

"We've got a big responsibility to make sure that people who come to our schools are well educated and given the best opportunities they can. But there is more, and it is that more that we should be interested in."

He said educators had to move with the times, and he felt there would be significant changes in the way schooling was conducted in coming years thanks to the increasing use of tools such as the internet. "We have a big responsibility to look at how our educational enterprise is something much more than just schooling of young people," he said. "We have got a big commitment we are struggling to live out, to the education of people from the beginning of their life to the end."
Our links and headlines below again endeavour to provide an overview of the flow of the debate yesterday.

The Australian – Backbench revolt on school values
The Australian – Opinion: Rob Durbridge: Howard's values lie in funding elite schools
The Australian – Opinion: John Hirst: Why private is preferable
Hobart Mercury – State broadside at Howard
Sydney Daily Telegraph – The private views of public school boys
Sydney Daily Telegraph – Opinion: Leave those kids alone
Brisbane Courier Mail – School heads issue challenge to Howard
The Age – School study contradicts PM's stance
The Age – Opinion: Schools' performances should be made public
The Age – Opinion: Go to the bottom of the the class, PM
The Age – Editorial: Mr Howard's attack on the value systems taught by state-run schools was ill-informed.
SMH – Abbott stirs education debate
SMH – Come to my school, Mr Howard, you could learn a few values
SMH – The top 10 values identified in a 2003 Federal government report on Values Education
West Australian – Howard's PC gibe draws P and C nod
ABC News – Costello backs parents' choice in schools debate
ABC News – Abbott backs Howard's 'traditional' school values
ABC News – Latham backs public school teachers

22 Jan 2004