U.K. parents ‘grateful’ schools teaching sex
Most British parents were grateful for school sex education programmes, Britain's Minister of Education and Science (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher) said yesterday.
“Children obviously must have information about sex,” Britain's only woman Cabinet Minister said at a Press conference in Adelaide.
“The problem is to teach it in a careful and dignified way.
“You have to get the right people to teach it, and the atmosphere must be right.”
Mrs. Thatcher will go to Woomera today on the next stage of an 11-day Australian tour.
She gained world-wide headlines last year when the British Press dubbed her “Thatcher, Thatcher, the milk snatcher” over her decision to ban free milk for 3.5m. English primary schoolchildren.
But Mrs Thatcher, mother of two, said yesterday that a poll taken a month ago had shown her portfolio rated “very highly.”
Her popularity had never been better.
Britain would have problems with the influx of Asians expelled from Uganda.
“There are some areas as full as they can be with migrants,” she said.
“But so far we have managed to cope.
“We are fairly well skilled at coping with these problems … we are a very, very tolerant people.”
Mrs. Thatcher, who said she was very impressed with the SA Institute of Technology, made these points about education:
Most countries faced the same basic problems—the age at which children should start their formal education, and what proportion of students should undertake tertiary training.
Most countries were appropriating increasingly large amounts for education.
The aims of an education system were twofold—to produce qualified people and to develop the character and personality of the individual.
Mrs. Thatcher said more women should enter politics. There were only 26 women among the 630 MPs in Britain.
On Britain's entry into the Common Market, the Minister said the UK would have to look more closely at qualifications acceptable in various areas.
Schools would also have to look at their current languages curriculum, as Britons were perhaps not as skilled in foreign languages as they should be.
Asked her impression of the SA Premier (Mr. Dunstan), with whom she had lunch, Mrs. Thatcher said: “We had a very happy lunch. I was impressed with all who were present.
“He is easy to get on with. We had a fruitful discussion about political problems.”