WA Catholic teachers organise protest against outcomes plan
Catholic school teachers are gearing up for a protest - dubbed "pray for delay" - against WA's plan for outcomes based education as the Catholic Education Office backs down on its support for the plan and timetable.
The West Australian reports that Director Ron Dullard, until now a staunch supporter of the outcomes based education system (OBE) and the State Government's timetable, told Ms Ljiljanna Ravlich that most of the 40 to 50 Catholic secondary school principals preferred a delay of the 17 courses due to start next year.
The backflip came as school teachers are planning a protest for 14 June on the steps of State Parliament.
One protest organiser said OBE had become a "highly moral issue" because it was unethical of the Government to force the unworkable courses on to teachers and students.
According to the West Australian, Mr Dullard had been criticised in Catholic school circles for his leadership style and failure to listen to teachers' concerns about implementation of the new courses.
Last week the Catholic Education Office issued a press statement supporting OBE.
Mr Dullard said yesterday he would meet Ms Ravlich on Friday to discuss his principals' position. "The majority of our principals would say they would prefer to have a delay," he said. "If it is delayed we can certainly make use of that time, that's for sure."
But he was adamant any delay should be on genuine grounds and not used as a strategy to abolish the system. Ms Ravlich continued to insist yesterday that there would be no delay. Questioned as she entered Parliament House, she said: "They will be ready - teachers will be ready."
Asked how she could be so confident, Ms Ravlich said: "Because I have full confidence in the department and I have full confidence in Western Australian teachers."
She said she would not sack teachers who were not ready to implement the new courses next year and also backed away from any moves to demote teachers to lower grades. "That's not a decision for me to make," she said.
Catholic schools say stop OBE plan (The West Australian 31/5/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Education Office of Western Australia
Outcomes Based Education (Wikipedia)
WA Catholics 'disadvantaged' under schools RE plan (CathNews 23/3/06)
Cash to ease school pain (Herald-Sun 31/5/06)
Differing seniors' curriculum 'chaotic' (ABC News 29/5/06)
31 May 2006