Australia

Feb 4, 2014

The rich paying $25k a year to learn to be good to the poor

If the Jesuits want to be a "church for the poor", why are they only educating the extremely rich? Marion Maddox, director of Macquarie University's Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, looks into inequality in schools.

More than 3.5 million students returned to school last week, increasingly segregated by wealth. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 65% will attend public schools, with the remaining 1.2 million students divided between Catholic schools (700,000) and independent schools (500,000), which are almost all religious.

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7 thoughts on “The rich paying $25k a year to learn to be good to the poor

  1. Dogs breakfast

    “Many Catholic and independent schools declare an intention to develop students’ commitments to “social justice”, “compassion” and “generous service”, as taught by their sponsoring religions.”

    And yet …………….

    “Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Education Minister Christopher Pyne were all taught by the Jesuits, who also produced Pope Francis, now urging a “church for the poor”.

    Indeed, I often wonder to myself how it is that Abbott’s, Pyne’s and Hockey’s heads don’t explode from the cognitive dissonance.

    I also sometimes find myself musing on what psychological gymnastics they employ to get around these obvious anomalies.

    But mostly I try not to think about it too much. It just makes me sad. 🙁

  2. mikeb

    “Only educating the extremely rich?” Not on those figures Marion. My three girls and I went to Catholic schools (not Jesuit) and the fees were comparatively modest. Certainly saved the taxpayer a dollar or two by subsidising my own kids while paying for everyone else as well. Don’t recall having religion shoved down my neck although religious education was compulsory. Was it worth the money? Certainly. Would I pay it all again? Absolutely.

  3. Gavin Moodie

    The Australian and State government grants to private schools should be converted to income contingent loans to parents to pay school fees, to be repaid when parents’ combined income exceeds c $100,000 per annum.

  4. CML

    ALL government funding to schools, other than State secular schools, should be abolished.
    ALL private, independent, and especially religious schools, are an abomination! They only foster extreme prejudice and superiority in the children who attend them. After all, the best examples of this are right in front of you – Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, et al. If they are displaying religious (Christian) ‘values’, we would all be better off without any.
    If you want your child/children indoctrinated, do it in their own time, at weekends or after school hours. AND YOU PAY FOR IT. ALL OF IT!!!

  5. MJPC

    The Catholic church, like all organised religion, are corporations first and ideologues next. What did Cardinal Pell pay (sorry, the Catholic Church) $50m to buy, a home for the poor and dispossessed or a hotel for him and his fellow travellers to have some luxury accommodation in Rome?
    If they can pay $50m for a Hotel, they don’t need funding from the public purse.

  6. bushby jane

    Using Abbott’s logic re SPC Ardmona being owned by (wealthy)Coca Cola, so therefore the parent company could afford to prop up SPC, surely the wealthy Catholic Church should be propping up their schools without govt funding. As I understand it, it is only relatively new that govt has been funding private schools. The Productivity Commission has suggested that the Feds should not be funding education, and as they are apparently controlling Abbott’s justification for their lack of financial support for business, then it will be interesting to see if this happens. Doubt it though, as all of Abbott’s men are Catholic, including Kevin Connelly, who wrote a silly biased article in The Age yesterday.

  7. drmick

    You have failed to mention the more that 100 students per year that St Ignatius are putting through from primary to senior secondary school for no fees. These students include the children of asylum seekers, children of families who are struggling and children from aboriginal communities.
    A bit of balance doesn’t hurt.
    In the case of the failed students abbot et all; their parents must be lamenting having wasted all that money.

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