Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Blogger Account equals New Problem!!

Guillermo and I had been pretty occupied (and at times, preoccupied) with various inminent changes to our lives...and more on those very soon.
This morning, when I tried publishing comments which were long overdued, I was given no choice but to upgrade my blogger account; and to my utter dismay, I have since have problems posting comments. While I try to contact the elusive customer service at Blogger for assistence, I am publishing comments from Yanqui Mike and Bonnie here...
"yanqui mike has left a new comment on your post "A Quick Hola from Sydney":
Dearest Cupcake,
I dearly hope you weren't referring to me. Because you strike me not only as a candidate for the most wonderful wife in the world but your observations are going to become a daily habit for me from now on. What a wonderful blog. Found you thru el rosariano. Come back soon. "
Hi Mike,
Thank you for the most flattering published comment in the short history of this blog. While our long summer break in Sydney has been fantastic, I'm really looking forward to going home to friends in BA.
Please also be assured that the reference was most definitely not directed at you but the ignorant but emotionally charged comment leaver who quoted you "a little too liberally" without much understanding of a true democracy, civil rights or issues concerning deportation. Thank you very much for visiting my blog.
"Bonnie has left a new comment on your post "What Is In An Education?":
Hi Miss C!
I hope you're really enjoying your time down there.I have a few points to make about the public vs. private debate in Australia.
First of all, I believe that Sydney (and possibly Melbourne and Brisbane as well) are not good examples of the standards of Australian schools, I believe that they are in fact microsystems that do not reflect accurately the state of the education system in Australia. This is because traditionally - as you've eluded - there is a lot more money floating around in these metropolitans.
Secondly, the education systems for primary and secondary education are state run and you will find many different variations from state to state. For example, the final exams for year 12 students in Queensland are (or were when I was there) very very different to those in New South Wales. In QLD, for entry into tertiary education, students are given an OP (overall position) score. The equivalent of this score in NSW is UAI (I believe). To get an OP score, students are graded across year 11 and year 12 and the best 3 scores for the chosen 6 subjects are taken to count towards the final score. Students also sit a QCS (Queensland Core Skills) exam. This 12 hour exam is not based on content from their classes but evaluates the skills that the students have learnt across their schooling lives to help them *work out* the problems. (As a side note - I personally really enjoyed this exam). I think it's definitely far removed from the HSC exams that the students must take in NSW where the exams are based on content from each of their classes. I'm proud to say that the QLD education system is well regarded as being one of the best education systems in the world.
Growing up in the country in Australia, my town was in a situation where the public school far exceded the private school as far as academic and sporting achievements were concerned. I went all the way through the public system and certainly don't regret a single moment of it - in fact I'm proud that my parents didn't spend more than they had to for my education. It's quite a strange phenomena but I can actually tell whether someone has gone through the private system in Australia when I meet them (although I wouldn't make claims that I'm 100% acurate). In fact, I believe these systems are producing 2 types of members of society. In general (and this is purely from my own observations and reflects my own personal opinions and in fact might be completely bollocks) I've found that those educated in the Australian public school system are more open, more tolerant and in some cases more sociable. I've found this especially where the student has been in same-sex education and not co-ed.
If I was living in Australia at the moment - I would not think twice about putting my child into public education, especially if it was in Queensland.But I don't live in QLD, I live in Cambridge - one of the oldest and most prestigious learning centres in the world and I too will face future decisions as to whether I should put my children into public or private education here. Unfortunately, I don't have first hand experience here and so definitely have some research to do when it comes to it.Enough of my waffling! I hope you are taking in plenty of Aussie sunshine and are really enjoying the food!"
Hi Bonnie,
Great to hear from you. Your comment is most timely as the Federal Education Minister, Julie Bishop, is proposing to standardise education across all states which I personally think is no more than a headline grabbing exercise during a election year which is hotting up to be a tough race for John Howard.
Especially under this current government which is best at being divisive and drawing out the worst in people (such as fears based on ignorance, selfishness and bigotry; and overt favouring of industrialist over the average Joe - not unlike what the Bush Administration is doing. All of which are very "un-Australian" principles for a government which frequently equates "Australian" to all the good qualities in a human being), I feel much more inclined towards an egalitarian education provided by our Labour dominated state governments.

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