Time and place
In response to Alan Burdon (Letters, BDN 7/6). What complete twaddle.
You (Narooma) and your folks (?) don't seem to be able to take democracy (Ancient Greece) for an answer. I (Bega) handed out for the Labor Candidate (Queanbeyan) at The Funhouse (Bega). I (Bega) never had the pleasure of meeting your wife (Dignams Creek). I watched a member of the Greens (Bega) approach some ladies (?) handing out for their candidate (Dignams Creek) to ask them (?) their (?) candidate's (Dignams Creek) position on climate change (Earth) and they (?) responded by saying, "How should we (?) know?"
They sure knew their Doc came from Dignams Creek though. They told voters that over and over and ... the voters shrugged.
Jamie Forbes, Bega
NAPLAN or No Plan
Using NAPLAN as the sole basis for judging children's educational abilities is extremely problematic especially in relation to culturally disadvantaged students. It is in fact only a point of time in one day of a child's school life.
The basic skills test was only slightly better; this is borne out by many eminent researchers both here and overseas.
In the case of both of these tests they are culturally biased.
In another life I was a State Education Coordinator for a major Education System . At a number of country schools a culturally disadvantaged group of students were consistently failing exams. A very talented and caring man developed a culturally appropriate assessment tool and a large majority of this group were then identified as gifted and talented.
The schools then put on annual camps for these children which were all highly successful.
It was called Wii Gaay ( Clever Child ) and I was a facilitator .
I also know of some schools particularly remote schools that encourage certain students to not attend as it would adversely affect their NAPLAN results and possibly their funding and for underfunded remote schools this is a huge issue.
The fact that the Federal and State Governments determine school funding levels by the results of these tests can place a heavy burden on school staff because the focus of the tests are the better results a school gets the more funding and possibly staffing they will get.
Frank Pearce, Bega
Way to save water
NSW has imposed water restrictions, stating that water inflows are the lowest since 1940. Now is the time to consider ways to save water.
It's undeniable that between irrigating the crops that farmed animals eat, providing millions of animals with drinking water each year, and washing away the filth of factory farms, transport trucks and slaughterhouses, animal agriculture places a tremendous strain on our precious water supply.
It takes on average 4000 litres of water to produce a steak. It takes over 500 litres of water to produce a litre of milk. A combined study carried out by the University of Melbourne's School of Social and Environmental Enquiry and its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering found that a vegetarian diet could save households up to 35 per cent of their total water usage, 13 times the volume of water that would be saved by not watering the garden. Going vegan saves over 4000 litres every day, and not eating a kilo of meat saves more water than not showering for 12 months.
In addition to being terrible for the environment, today's factory farms cram intelligent animals by the thousands into dark, filthy cages or windowless sheds, where they are denied everything that makes life worth living. You can save water, save money, and save hundreds of animals from a life of suffering and a terrifying death, just by going vegan.