Lawyer Frances Gibson reports
"ABORIGINAL children should not be taught their culture in schools, a report endorsed by federal Education Minister Julie Bishop says.
The report, by the Menzies Research Centre, suggests removing indigenous culture from the curriculum, because it prevents Aboriginal children from progressing in their education.
Ms Bishop has said she will consider using the report, by Bennelong Society president Gary Johns, to frame policy. The report also urges governments to close schools in remote communities if they are not economically viable.
The report suggests students who are less "traditional" are likely to do better in school. "Western education cannot and should not preserve Aboriginal culture," it says.
"Too often, educators continue to defer to Aboriginal culture without recognising that Aboriginal culture is the problem. Can a culture that is pre-literate and pre-numerate survive in an education system that is meant to make children literate and numerate?
"Can a welfare culture that has no work ethic be in a position to prepare its children for school?"
Dr Johns, a former Keating government minister, said it was up to parents to teach culture.
"For too long we have been in a dual world which says perhaps we can assist Aborigines to learn their own culture as well as our culture," he said.
Launching the report yesterday, Ms Bishop said Dr Johns had raised "a very interesting point".
"I think what he's saying is that Western schools shouldn't try to inculcate Aboriginal culture into students, that that's a role for parents and elders, and I think that's a very sensible suggestion," she said."