Parents play larger school role
GLENN Fahley (The Examiner, December 14) was spot on in his essay on education funding.
The emphasis has been very misplaced and that is more a fault of the general community expectation than of poor teaching.
Teachers are often not respected and parents are demanding, sometimes aggressively, positive outcomes.
So educational standards have declined and it is regarded as psychologically destructive for anyone to fail.
This sets up the younger generation to feel the community owes them a living as they have the illusion they were successful at school. Another basic problem is the socialisation of classes where teaching according to ability is frowned upon so we get a situation where some students cannot cope so become disruptive.
In turn that makes teaching and learning more challenging so the lowered standard result is unsurprising.
There is no evidence smaller class sizes yield better outcomes so funding allocated to achieve that has been wasted.
There are many dedicated professional teachers out there holding the system together so it is not an absolute failure.
But with more realistic expectations from the community and education bureaucrats, it could be much better and achieve much more.
John Coulson, Dilston.
Gay conversion therapy barbaric
I refer to the article by Isobel Cootes in (The Sunday Examiner, December 13) regarding gay conversion therapy in Tasmania.
This is a barbaric practice with no scientific basis, and it harms the most vulnerable people in our society - LGBT youth.
I'm glad Isobel brought this issue to the attention of the Tasmanian public.
It's so important that we root out these practices by making them illegal instead of the grey area that is so easily exploited.
Other states have taken this crucial step, and Tasmania is at risk of falling behind when it comes to protecting LGBT people.
I hope Isobel's article started conversations around our state that will lead us to better protect our youth and LGBT community, we need to do better.
Edward King-Grey, Mowbray.
VAD and Christians
MARY Bates criticises Ron Baines (The Examiner, December 14) as being extremely offensive to thousands of Christians who are against the assisted suicide bill.
People like Mary Bates who pay homage to some made-up fantasy have an audacity to be critical of intelligent people who do not subscribe to her illogical and irrational beliefs. Religious people who use government power in support of themselves and force their views on people of no faith undermine all our civil rights.
Religion should be given the same respect as all make-believe such as Santa, the Easter Bunny and Mickey Mouse.
Victor Marshall, Meander.
Katie Flanagan a health treasure
WE are so very fortunate to have Professor Katie Flanagan living and working in Launceston to guide the national effort to find suitable vaccines.
Best wishes for her continued success and well done Clifford Craig Foundation for funding medical research.
Brian Hartnett, Launceston.
Swift Parrots downward spiral
FOLLOWING Nick Steel's, chief executive of the Tasmanian Forest Products Association, article in (The SundayExaminer, December 13), I have a few comments regarding swift parrots and their demise.
Forestry in native forests is a major or even the major contributor because it degrades the environment.
Sustainable forestry doesn't just mean chop a tree plant a tree.
Studies have shown that the introduced sugar gliders are much more active in degraded forests, that is those that have been logged or logged around the edges.
New research shows that removing sugar gliders does not work. I support forestry, just not the old system.
Forest practices plans are not really aimed at protecting environments for the organisms that live there.
Their focus is on allowing forestry. Otherwise, the area now known as the Tarkine would not be allowed to be logged.
$700,000 is a nice amount of money for the Tasmanian government to spend on trapping sugar gliders, but until the areas and trees in which the parrots' nest are safeguarded, swift parrots are on a downward spiral, and the money is just a sop. Swift parrots are a signal that all is not well in our forests.
We shouldn't take nature for granted.
Again, I refer people to the Difficult Bird Research Group.
They are doing fabulous work, and you may like to support them to help in their efforts to conserve difficult birds such as the swift parrot in very difficult circumstances.
E J Brown, Windermere.
A disappointing response
GUY Barnett expresses his disappointment that Bob Brown has disrupted logging operations in a native forest.
I am disappointed that Guy Barnett is logging endangered swift parrot habitats.
Peter Taylor, Midway Point.
Tamar is central to our city
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for raising the awareness of the importance of the Tamar.
In 1980 when I was involved in tourism and conventions for this city an independent body recognised that the Tamar was Launceston's biggest asset; some 40 years later we have done very little in that time to improve its usability.
I urge, indeed plead with the powers to be to get on and appoint an independent body to make recommendations.
The Tamar is central to tourism, recreation and agriculture for our beautiful city.