Dan Tehan, the Federal minister for screwing up education, has announced a rescue package for Australia’s universities. This was clearly necessary, since the universities are no longer in a position to fleece international students. The package guarantees funding for the universities, and introduces a range of cheap six-month courses in “areas considered national priorities”.
The government’s package is “unashamedly focused on domestic students”. That was inevitable since:
a) the government, and Tehan in particular, doesn’t give a stuff about international students;*
And, what of these “priority” courses? According to the ABC,
The Government said prices would be slashed for six-month, remotely delivered diplomas and graduate certificates in nursing, teaching, health, IT and science provided by universities and private tertiary educators.
OK, so ignoring all the other nonsense, we have a few questions about those six-month online teaching diplomas:
- Will such a diploma entitle the bearer to teach?
- If not, then what is it good for?
- If so, then what is a school to do with the mix of 6-month diploma-qualified applicants and the standard 24-month Masters-qualified applicants?
- And, if so, what does that tell us of the intrinsic worth of those standard 24-month Masters?
To be clear, we have no doubt that six months is plenty sufficient for the initial training of a teacher, and indeed is at least five months too many. We also have no doubt that a diploma-trained teacher has the same chance to be a good teacher as someone who has suffered a Masters. They have a better chance, in fact, since there will have been less time to pervert natural instincts and feelings and techniques with poisonous edu-babble.
But, good or bad, who is going to give these diploma teachers a shot? Then, if the teachers should be and are given a shot, who is going to address the contradiction, the expensive and idiotic orthodoxy of demanding two year post-grad teaching degrees?
*) Or anyone, but international students are near the bottom.