|Nucoal signs deal with high school|
|Sunday, 03 February 2013 11:17|
The Narara High School, on the Central Coast, has entered a formal partnership with mining company Nucoal, a NSW department of education spokeswoman has confirmed.
Fairfax reports the school's year three to 10 curriculums will be altered to help graduates become better equipped for work in the coal industry.
Nucoal director of training Maree Roberts, a former Education Department executive for the Hunter and Central Coast, told Fairfax mining companies were worried about the numeracy skills of graduates.
The company is spending tens of thousands of dollars to establish the Mining Academy of Education at Narara, which will coach and mentor teachers when it opens mid-year.
And maths and science classes will have a greater focus on mining, Fairfax reports.
NSW Greens MP John Kaye says O'Farrell government budget cuts, which led to the partnership, will place teachers under "enormous pressure to indoctrinate their students into an unquestioning acceptance of Nucoal's propaganda".
"Biasing the teaching towards the coal industry will inevitably typecast students and limit their expectations to a life in mining," he said in a statement on Sunday.
Mr Kaye said corporate sponsorship of public schools had occurred before, but there had never been "such an overt intrusion into the classroom".
Under such arrangements, mining companies would be able to control what students were taught about climate change and the role of the coal industry, he said.
"As the school becomes more dependent on mining company cash, the devolved management will have little choice but to toe the line and push teachers to massage the science on climate change and renewable energy."
School curriculums are often linked to "something real and meaningful in the real world, in order to make it a better educational experience", the education department spokeswoman told AAP.
She said altering science and maths curriculums would achieve such ends for students at Narara, given the prevalence of the coal industry in the area.
"I don't think propaganda was ever going to be a part of it, but it's a reality that it's a local industry," she said.
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