A Queensland state school student may soon have a teacher laughing at arithmetic problems, or chortling over insane English grammar! It really might be possible if the 1200 dollars that the school spent for teaching its teachers "how to laugh" really pays off.
While other schools are following suit and have paid for laughter 'consultants', eighty-two staff members from Maleny State High School took part in a two-hour "laughter therapy" session last Monday.
Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg has on April 24 accused the State Government of wasting "scarce" funds and teachers' time.
"While parents juggle work and finding child-minding on a pupil-free day the teachers are being taught to laugh - this is a joke," the Couriermail quoted him as saying.
"Queensland's education standards are languishing and schools are in need of essential maintenance; the money should be going there and teachers should be treated professionally," he said.
But Education Queensland, which covered the cost of the consultant through a grant to the school, said the laughter therapy was part of professional development activities that included a two-hour session on literacy.
"Some of the benefits of laughter therapy are improving well-being, reducing stress levels, and building trust, confidence and self esteem," EQ said in a statement.
The school referred comment on the issue to the department.