Saturday, 31 March 2007

Macquarie University is reportedly "preparing the resources on values" to be published in a booklet on which questions in a citizenship test to be debated in federal parliament later this year, will be based.

The test was first mooted in the aftermath of the July 2005 London bombings. The event also caused the conservative Australian government to introduce tough new anti-terrorist laws.

Federal immigration minister Kevin Andrews says that the resources being prepared by Macquarie Uni will include material on "the rule of law, the fact that we live in what I'd call a secular legal regime, the place of courts and respect for courts (and that) man and women are equal".

The story 'Booklet delays citizenship test' by Cath Hart does not seem to have made it onto the Web site of The Australian, where it was published today.

Delay in the production of the booklet has caused debate in federal parliament on the enabling legislation to be postponed. Andrews insisted on both being introduced at the same time.

"My view was that it was best to have the material and the bill together because if we just put the bill in people would probably say: 'OK, we're going to have a test but what is it? What is this material that they're going to be tested on or expected to know?'"

The minister also says that he is "involved in compiling material about the history of Australia". Andrews studied history as part of his arts degree.

The test will include an oral component and a computer-based test of 30 questions drawn randomly from a pool of 200 questions.
  It will be based on the existing Australian Migrant English Program syllabus, which covers legal and political matters, landmarks and national symbols, reconciliation and the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen.

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