Teach manners in schools: Australian Education Minister

The Age (Australia) 7 Nov 06
Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop has called for good manners to be taught in schools, saying there has been a “decline in civility in Australia”. Ms Bishop said although governments could not legislate to impose civility, schools had a duty to champion good manners, tolerance and respect. She said students should also demonstrate respect for schools — by wearing a uniform, for example — and respect society’s institutions.”In the school setting, the playing of the national anthem at school assemblies should be seen as a normal and solemn part of a students’ school life,” Ms Bishop said at told 2006 Sir Robert Menzies lecture. The Government has repeatedly pushed for values to be taught in schools. Last week it announced a $90 million project to install chaplains in schools to support the spiritual wellbeing of students. Ms Bishop also called recently for a common national curriculum, saying left-wing ideologues in state governments had hijacked what was being taught, with some themes “straight from Chairman Mao”.