That de facto English test: scrap it, or admit what it really is!

29 Apr

I am 100% behind Petro Georgiou on this one, as an ESL teacher and as a common-or-garden variety Australian citizen who has never had to sit for a “citizenship” test.

Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou says Australia’s controversial new citizenship test should not just be reviewed – it should be scrapped altogether.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans says he has no plans to abolish the Howard Government-era test, but he is open to making improvements.

Mr Georgiou broke party lines to oppose the test when it was introduced by the former government and says his views have not changed.

“I would hope that the review recommends that we go back to the early form of the test which was about basic English, and not have funny little questions about which cricketers were the best cricketers in Australia’s history,” he told ABC Radio’s AM program.

Mr Georgiou says the test is deterring substantial numbers of people from applying for citizenship.

His comments came after the release of new Government figures showing there has been a drop in the number of people applying for citizenship. —  ABC News

I had quite a bit to say on this last year. I don’t mind the Book of Knowledge; everyone should have one, and it should be available in a range of languages. But the test does not and cannot make any difference at all to a person’s prospects as a good or bad citizen of Australia. It certainly does not protect us in any conceivable way from terrorism or crime or tropical diseases. It is simply an English test, and not a terribly good one. Last August I wrote, and still would write:

They want us to be tough and they want us to make sure that Australia’s protected and they know that there are people in the world who have a different view… Trouble is the Citizenship Test would achieve none of these aims. Any terrorist or mad bastard of any kind would have no trouble going through these particular hoops if he/she really wanted to, but in the meantime a far greater number of innocent bystanders would be disadvantaged by the fact, despite Kevin Andrews’ denial, that this is an English test, being in English.

Scrap it. Spend the money on educating current and prospective citizens.

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Posted by on April 29, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, current affairs, immigration, Multicultural, multicultural Australia, multiculturalism


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