Australian teachers are boycotting a newly unveiled science program that encourages high school students to help design nuclear submarines, a local social group has reported.
In a statement released on Monday, Friends of the Earth (FoE) said that motions have already been passed in some chapters of the Australian Education Union (AEU) to ban the “Nuclear-Powered Submarine Propulsion Challenge.”
Denounced by FoE as “a blatant attempt to normalize nuclear power and indoctrinate children into building instruments of death,” the nationwide competition was initiated by the Department of Defense in June to collect engineering plans from Year 7-12 teenagers for submarine nuclear propulsion.
The defense department promised that winners from each state and territory would earn the opportunity to visit HMAS Stirling, the home base of Australia’s Collins-class submarines.
A motion, passed at the AEU sub-branch meeting of the Virtual School Victoria and posted by FoE on its website, conveyed a strong condemnation coming from union members.
“The government spending of 368 billion U.S. dollars on AUKUS nuclear submarines will require whole new industries in Australia, and beginning to draw our brightest teenage students into this war industry must be opposed. A pro-AUKUS curriculum that normalizes nuclear-powered submarines and other military technology has no place in our schools,” the motion wrote.
“We resolve to refuse to refer students to this program or others like it, and we will refuse to promote it within our schools. We call on the Department of Education to cease all involvement in this and similar programs,” it added.
FoE Nuclear-free Coordinator Sanne de Swart regarded it as a “grave concern” to normalize militarization and downplay nuclear risks in schools.
“Nuclear and military aspects in the curriculum fail to address health and environmental risks associated with both, as well as the drive to war,” said the coordinator.
“It fails to acknowledge Australia’s significant and devastating history with nuclear, including the atomic bomb tests, uranium mining, and the attempts to impose nuclear waste dumps,” she stressed.
Source : XinHua