TEACHERS' VISITS ‘GOOD’
Canberra, Wednesday,—Britain's Secretary for Education and Science, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, said today that she would welcome a greateer number of British teachers coming to Australia under an exchange system.
“We've got a good supply of teachers. It would enlarge their experience for more of them to come here,” she said.
Mrs Thatcher, 47, is Britain's only woman Cabinet minister.
She is on a week's visit to Australia.
Mrs Thatcher said that Britain had overcome its teacher shortage by establishing more teachers' colleges. There was now a net intake of 18,000 new teachers a year.
A greater number of British teachers coming to Australia on a temporary basis would help overcome the shortage here.
Mrs Thatcher said she had had wide-ranging talks with the Federal Minister for Education and Science, Mr. Malcolm FraserMr Fraser, and with officials of his department during her stay in Canberra.
They had discussed new methods of education being adopted in Britain, particularly the new emphasis on pre-school education.
“Nursery education is a top priority in my department,” she said.
“We can never make up for inadequate parents, but we can at least help by getting the children into school earlier. This is one of the most important functions of the nurseries.”
In addition to formal nursery schools, many parents had formed pre-school play groups “just to get the children playing and learning together.”
These groups, staffed by volunteers, received Government grants from time to time.
“The importance of this form of education is that you have the parent and child, not as separate entities, but pulling together to learn,” she said.