February 28, 2018: Your say on teacher shortages, pokies, and fruit fly

Dennis Fitzgerald, of Victoria, offers his thoughts on the reason behind a teacher shortage.
Dennis Fitzgerald, of Victoria, offers his thoughts on the reason behind a teacher shortage.

Teacher shortage

WHY IS there a shortage of teachers?

The answer is the same as for nurses and police - they can't do their jobs.

It's not a criticism of their ability or effort but rather the administrative tasks that stop them from doing their actual job.

The often reported shortage of capable, experienced teacher is exacerbated by the number of young teachers who start with great enthusiasm but leave disillusioned within five years.

Teachers want to teach, for which they have been studying for at least four years, but they are stuck with doing administrative and repetitive professional development in order to stay registered.

What can be done to remedy this – at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time?

More money is always a positive although most people don't enter the profession for the financial rewards but for what they can do for their students.

Perhaps the only significant change at the moment is to recognise that teachers teach and administrators administer and never the twain should meet in one person.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Victoria.


IN REPLY to your correspondent Collin G Wood (The Examiner, February 12) pokies are the only form of gambling that utilise machines designed and programmed to brainwash players into shovelling money into them.

This is the reason why they should be removed from such convenient spaces as pubs and clubs.

Australian designed and built electronic gaming machines are unique by combining sound, visuals and teaser wins to keep the player hooked, developing a brain condition that represents true addiction.

Even Tasmanian government TV advertisements until recently said that you cannot win, only lose, if you keep playing the machines.

Other forms of gambling require conscious and considered decisions on the part of players, without the unwanted psychological tricks built into all Australian pokies.

Bruce Lindsay, Longford.

Rail tourism

I RECENTLY worked the Melba Railway from Burnie to Melba Flats.

The spectacular temperate rainforest, engineering excellence both past and present, Hydro and mining development, was all breathtaking.

The destruction of coastal rail, the ignorance of rail tourism potential, is equally breathtaking. This week, I had a different rail experience.

Although a similarly beautiful landscape, brief discussions with locals along the way described a people's railway. An ownership was present in their words, even love.

As with our elderly and retired, we disregard their knowledge, experience and historical contribution far too hastily. A resource under-valued, ignored and mistreated.

As we meandered along the rail a woman at Nabowla raised her hand in acknowledgement. She spoke no words, she didn't have to. A gesture of gratitude, a thank you for caring for an old friend, a warrior with still much to offer the people of the North-East. Long live the North-East Railway.

Kevin Brown, Western Creek.

Preventative health

AUSTRALIANS are not exercising enough and many are socially isolated.

Humans were hunters and gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years. They were on their feet all day and belonged to a tribal group.

Today governments spend millions of dollars dealing with the symptoms of modern day illness such as depression and diabetes, while doing little about what causes these illness. 

Leon Cooper, St Leonards.

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​Economy report

IT WAS wonderful to read CommSec's latest State of the States report, which showed Tasmania has jumped from seventh place to fourth in the key economic areas assessed that rank the economies of the various states.

However, with the Labor party promising unnecessary and disruptive multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, and attacking one of our largest employment sectors with their blanket pokies reforms, I am concerned we may be set to fall down the list yet again due to promises used to win votes.

Edward King-Grey, Mowbray.

Turnbull v Joyce

WAS Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull trying to convey to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce a message that could possibly be epitomised as “there is no fool like an old fool”.

Kenneth Gregson, Swansea. 

So sad

THE last lines of the article “New life for old churches” (Lucy Stone, The Examiner, February 17) reads: “a reminder of a time when churches were the centre of the city’s life”.

Seeming lack of relevance, popularism instead of doctrine and sexual abuse scandals, have led to the virtual demise of the Christian faith in today’s society.

Technology, money and especially sport have become the “gods” of this modern secular age. I add, there is nothing wrong with sport in moderation.

Malcolm Scott, Newstead.

Fruit fly

ON January 30 I rang the Animals and Plants Hotline to report that I had found a grub in our apricots at home. I left a message and received no reply.

So I rang The Examiner, where I was given a number in Hobart to ring. On this number, I spoke to a woman about this grub that I had in a bottle with the apricot, and she said someone would get back to me. I have heard nothing, so much for their asking for help in this matter. 

They found one at George Town, why not at Bridport as well?

Mick Mitchell, Bridport.