Wednesday, November 29, 2006


New South Wales schools will no longer use a learning activity meant to teach students about tensions in the Middle East:
A simulation exercise in which Year 11 students played Arabs and Israelis has been dropped by NSW schools after parents complained it was creating racial tension and painted terrorists in a sympathetic light.

An inquiry by a senior Education Department officer found the simulation exercise, devised by Macquarie University's centre for Middle Eastern studies, risked creating disharmony in schools and the community and that there was a "significant risk" of harm to the "welfare and wellbeing of students from particular minorities".

Documents given to The Australian show the inquiry was prompted by complaints from parents that background notes presented to the students gave positive descriptions of groups such as Hamas's Qassam Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Students were not told the groups are listed terrorist organisations and support for them is an offence under Australian law.

Parents complained that students feared being marked down if they did not agree with the dominant anti-Israeli, anti-Western polemic.

The schools simulation is being run by Andrew Vincent, who runs the Macquarie University centre for Middle Eastern studies and was recently criticised in federal parliament for alleged anti-Israel bias. Mr Vincent said he devised the program to help students "work out the passions" of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Asked why the high school simulation was stopped this year, Mr Vincent said: "The allegation was made that we were training terrorists."
Antony Loewenstein, "best selling" "author," anti-Zion crusader and board member at Macquarie University's Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, obviously contributed to the program:
According to the board, the material provided by Mr Vincent was not only biased but "riddled with grammatical, syntactical and spelling errors".
It's the message that counts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This news is, like 1-2 YEARS old, it just appeared today because of some new report or other. So the sloppiness is due to the MUCFMEANAS itself i'm afraid.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

The Centre's April 2006 newsletter notes the closing down of the simulation. The report on the simulation was only recently released, or so I believe.

11:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home