Friday, December 5, 2008

Australia says 'no' to use of red pen by teachers

Australia, if you want real problems please let us know...We will be happy to export some of ours...

The teachers in Australia have been asked to stop using red pen to mark students’ work as it can harm their mental health.

A kit devised to help teachers to focus on mental well-being of the students offers a list of tips by experts that points out: “Don’t mark with a red pen (which can be seen as aggressive), use a different colour,” according to AAP report here. The kit was submitted in Queensland’s parliament today by Deputy Opposition Leader Mark McArdle.

“Given your 10-year-old Labor government presides over the lowest numeracy and literacy standards of any state in Australia, don’t you think it’s time we focused on classroom outcomes rather than these kooky, loony, loopy, lefty policies?” McArdle asked Premier Anna Bligh in parliament.

Bligh said the question was trivial at a time of the economic crisis. “Thousands of Queensland retirees for example are seeing their superannuation earnings go through the floor, and the opposition wants to speak about the colour of pens being used by teachers in the classroom,” Bligh said.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said there was nothing wrong with teachers using a red pen. “How crazy is this government?” he said.

But Health Minister Stephen Robertson, whose department devised the kit, said youth suicide was such a serious issue. “If mental health professionals determine that as one of a number of strategies teachers should consider, then I’ll support them every day of the week,” he said adding, “This is not a matter for ridicule, this is serious.”

Thanks: Business Standard