The school inspector is assigned to the year 4 class in one of the local Brisbane state schools. He is introduced to the class by the teacher. She says to the class, “Let’s show the inspector just how clever you are by allowing him to ask you a question”.
The inspector reasons that normally class starts with religious instruction, so he will ask a Biblical question.
He asks :”Class, who broke down the walls of Jericho?”
For a full minute there is absolute silence. The children all just stare at him blankly. Eventually, little Bruce raises his hand. The inspector excitedly points to him.
Bruce stands up and replies: “Sir, I don’t know who broke down the walls of Jericho, but I can assure you it wasn’t me”.
The inspector is shocked by the answer and looks at the teacher for an explanation. Realizing that he is perturbed, the teacher says: “Well, I’ve known Bruce since the beginning of the year, and I believe that if he says that he didn’t do it, then he didn’t do it”.
The inspector is even more shocked at this and storms down to the principal’s office and tells him what happened, to which the principal replies : “I don’t know the boy, but I socialize every now and then with his teacher, and I believe her. If she thinks that the boy is innocent, then he must be innocent”.
The inspector can’t believe what he is hearing. He grabs the phone on the principal’s desk and in a rage dials Julia Gillard’s telephone number and rattles all the conversations to her and asks her what she thinks of the education standard in the State..
The PM sighs heavily and replies: “I don’t know the boy, the teacher or the principal, but just get three quotes and have the wall fixed.”
Apropos of this a friend who teaches speech has found she has to rule out lots of old poems because the children no longer know enough about Christianity to understand a lot of the imagery.
The loss of knowledge about religion has cultural implications too.