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Ogilvy: Clear demand for character education

Ogilvy: Clear demand for character education

Integrated schools are turning students away because parents want "character education" for their children and can't get it from the State school system, United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy said today.

"And it is time the Government delivered on this need, rather than simply paying lip service to it," he said. "The 1993 Curriculum Framework clearly states that attitudes and values should go hand-in-hand with knowledge and skills in the curriculum, but that simply is not happening.

"Integrated schools, in large part religious schools, tend to have an emphasis on values, standards and character that parents realise they cannot get for their children elsewhere.

"As a result, they want their children at those schools, not necessarily for religious reasons, but for the values that underpin the schools' philosophies.

"What they are really after is character education; that deep belief that we need to instil positive values in young people."

United Future would require all schools to introduce some form of character education by establishing character education grants to train teachers to incorporate character-building lessons and activities, Mr Ogilvy said.

"Character education is about universal values such as honesty, respect for others and the law, tolerance, fairness, caring and social responsibility, and building these things into a school's culture.

United Future would also look at introducing a greater component of 'civics' education, to ensure that students know about their country, its history and how its basic institutions function.

"In the end this is about ensuring that our children receive an education of substance," he said.

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