The Coalition plans not only to deny government funding on private schools but also slash funds accessible for public ones, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Monday.
Not only had she generated millions of hits in YouTube, Prime Minister Julia Gillard acknowledged on Wednesday that she also elicited praises from key world leaders who attended the Asia-Europe Summit held in Laos.
Ms Gillard told the Parliament on Monday that "every public school in this country is on an opposition hit-list and is slated for a reduction in funding," as revealed in a speech delivered by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott before an independent schools forum.
The prime minister noted that what Mr Abbott had read out were "prepared and scripted remarks," underscoring the likelihood that a Liberal government under the watch of the opposition leader will not be too generous on Australia's learning institutions, both private and public.
Ms Gillard made the disclosure as her government prepares to push for funding increases to all schools, which is a plan faithfully based on the recommendations submitted in February 2012 by the schools funding review panel headed by David Gonski.
The key component of the Gonski Review is the joint funding that would come from federal and state authorities, which would add up some $5 billion of finances earmarked for public and private schools across the nation.
The Gonski review panel recommended too that state and territory governments need to shoulder much of the additional 70 per cent educational financing program.
In adopting the plan, Ms Gillard told an independent schools forum that Canberra's "funding model ... will lift school standards, not school fees."
"(The same) will recognise the diversity and uniqueness of Australian schools and will support the choices parents make about the best school for their child," Ms Gillard was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying on Monday.
What the government will do is to put to rest the school funding debate, commence the discussions on further hiking school standards and allow private schools equal access to higher funding, Ms Gillard pointed out.
But Mr Abbott has expressed optimism that the Gonski plan will suit with the current financial standings of both the national and state government.
"I am deeply sceptical that Gonski is doable at this time given all of the other fiscal demands that state and commonwealth governments face," the Liberal leader said in his address before the same forum.
Instead, he advocated retaining the funding scheme that was introduced by former Prime Minister John Howard, which was largely based on the socio-economic status (SES) of schools.
"So far there is nothing substantial, nothing concrete that we have seen (in the Gonski plan) that we are confident would be an improvement on the SES funding model," Mr Abbott insisted.
Also, he reiterated stance by the Coalition to do away with educational funding schemes that provide equal regard to public and private schools.
What Mr Abbott had revealed on his speech was to carry on a program that has been mostly scored by the Gonski Review as non-transparent and too complicated, according to Australian Greens leader Christine Milne.
"Tony Abbott needs to accept that equality of opportunity means equal access to educational opportunity," Senator Milne told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
She called on the Coalition to finally abandon a system that has been deemed as "unfair, ineffective and inequitable."
Meanwhile, Australian Education Union (AEU) federal president Angelo Gavrielatos warned Mr Abbott that "the opposition will stand condemned if they get in the way of this legislation."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- IN PHOTOS! A Picture of Sadness in Kristen Stewart as Robert Pattinson Celebrates 27th Birthday ALONE? [SLIDESHOW]
- 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Casting: Chris Evans as Christian Grey [PHOTOS]
- Selena's Bikini Body: How to Get the Toned Look in Two Easy Steps [PHOTOS & VIDEO]
- Jaden Smith Clarifies Emancipation Reports with Dad Will Smith on TV Show ‘Ellen’ [PHOTOS AND VIDEO]