PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: One reason for the decline in the number of students studying maths and science is a paucity of maths and science teachers. So it is a great concern to learn that stifling bureaucracy is preventing some truly outstanding graduates from teaching maths and science.
Let me give you three examples. Firstly, Justin Wooley. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace Engineering) from RMIT, having received an ENTER score of 97. He graduated with high distinction and has been designing aircraft for two years, but he is prohibited from teaching maths and science.
My second example is a student who did a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) at UWA. He was the Engineering Student Society President, and a maths and science tutor at the university, but has been told that he is prohibited from teaching maths and science at school.
My final example, and my best one, is that of a Fulbright scholar who completed a PhD at Yale University in econometrics. He was approved to teach legal studies and humanities in school, but not maths.
These people are not just proficient in maths; they are masters at it. They want to teach maths, their principals want them to teach maths, but the clipboard holders say they are not qualified. It is bureaucracy on steroids.
If the Government is serious about maths and science teacher shortages, it should fix this madness immediately.