School’s out on politics

PERHAPS the pertinent point that “Ignorance (is) just a sad fact of life” (David Penberthy, Opinion, July 29) makes is that it is pervasive not only in “wannabe” journalists, but across the socio-economic spectrum.

Qualifying as a secondary school politics teacher in 1990, I could not obtain a teaching job in that discipline because there was scant demand for it within the education system. A 15-year-old journalism work experience student at a prestigious all-girls Catholic school in Melbourne I met, who wanted politics as a year 11 elective, was unable to study it because it was not on the curriculum; ditto at a nearby government school and an independent school.

Certainly, it is important to recognise ignorance about our politicians, but more significantly, why are so many young people seemingly uninterested in politics?

In a country where voting is compulsory, I would expect more than a rudimentary education in civics; moreover, in NSW, politics as a subject is not even included for senior study. Ignorance is not bliss.