Anti-racism lessons in Australian Schools

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Brisbane Mar 24 (UNI) The Australian government has asked the country's states to strictly enforce anti-racism measures and to have racial harmony programmes and lessons as a regular part of their course work.

New South Wales (NSW) Premier, Morris Iemma talking to newspersons here today, said that every NSW public school will now be required to appoint a teacher to be an anti-racism officer to teach tolerance within the normal school lessons.

The Department of Education's website shows anti-racism contact officers were supposed to have been in NSW schools since at least 2003. The idea was first announced in Parliament by the Coalition government in 1993.

Admitting that the program had not been implemented properly.

Ms Iemma said that said, all of the 2240 public schools in NSW would have a designated staff member trained to handle racism issues, with the teacher to be nominated by the principal.

''Respect for teachers as authority figures is fundamental in our schools,'' the premier said. ''We want to send a clear message that there is no place for racial intolerance in our classrooms and playground. This will mean that any student anywhere in the state, can have someone to turn to if he or she feels victimised'' she stressed.

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