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Draft curriculum attracts criticism from education minister

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Alan Tudge is concerned proposed changes to the national curriculum focus too heavily on Indigenous history at the expense of western culture.

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Under draft changes, students would learn how Australia’s British colonisation was experienced by Indigenous people as an invasion.

The Education Minister said it was good to include more emphasis on Indigenous history but expressed concern the draft failed to strike the right balance.

“We should honour our Indigenous history and teach that well,” Tudge told Sky News.

“But equally that should not come at the expense of dishonouring our western heritage which has made us the liberal democracy we are today.

“We have to get the balance right and I’m concerned that we haven’t in the draft that’s been put out.”

Education ministers from around the country will discuss the draft at a meeting in Melbourne on Friday.

The proposed changes will be open to public feedback before the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority hands a final draft to ministers later in the year.

“I will be looking for some changes from what I’ve seen so far,” Mr Tudge said.

A review of the existing curriculum found outdated ideas were in contrast to Indigenous calls for truth-telling history.

It also found there was too much emphasis on Indigenous history before Europeans arrived.

ACARA chief executive David de Carvalho said students should be taught the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“It’s important that all Australian students have the ability to discuss these important issues and understand these core concepts,” he told SBS News.

Mr Tudge fears language like “invasion” could turn students into activists.

“Certainly some people from an Indigenous perspective saw things very, very differently to what the white settlers saw it from (sic) and that should be taught as well,” he said.

-AAP

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