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Seeing red over teachers’ pen marks on copies

india Updated: Dec 05, 2008 11:32 IST
PTI
kid

Worried about too many red marks on your homework copy, made by your teachers?. Don’t feel bad. Sooner or later, those red marks may become a thing of the past.

In Australia, teachers have been asked to stop using red pen to mark students’ work as it can harm their mental health. A kit devised to help teachers to focus on mental well-being of the students offers a list of tips by experts that points out “Don’t mark in a red pen (which can be seen as aggressive) — use a different colour,” the Australian Associated Press reported.

The kit, was submitted in Queensland’s parliament on Thursday by Deputy Opposition Leader Mark McArdle. “Given your 10-year-old Labour government presides over the lowest numeracy and literacy standards of any state in Australia, don’t you think it’s time we focused on classroom outcomes rather than these absurd lefty policies?” McArdle asked Premier Anna Bligh in parliament.

Bligh said the question was trivial at a time of economic crisis. “Thousands of Queensland retirees for example are seeing their superannuation earnings go through the floor, and the opposition wants to speak about the colour of pens that teachers are using in the classroom,” Bligh said. Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said there was nothing wrong with teachers using a red pen. “How crazy is this government?” he said.

But Health Minister Stephen Robertson, whose department devised the kit, said youth suicide was such a serious issue. “If mental health professionals determine that as one of a number of strategies teachers should consider, then I’ll support them every day of the week,” he said adding “This is not a matter for ridicule, this is serious.”