Illiterate Australian boy sues state

March 8, 2011 12:00 am

, SYDNEY, Mar 8 – A 15-year-old Australian boy is suing the government after allegedly being left illiterate and innumerate despite being taught at a state-run school, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

The Victoria state education department said it was defending the claim made by a Year 10 boy from Melbourne, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after details of the case were reported by the ABC, Australia\’s public broadcaster.

Lawyers for the student reportedly told the Federal Court that their client\’s future was "questionable" and "seriously disadvantaged" after he "missed out on the requirements of an education" at his school in Melbourne.

They said the state government promises a "world class" education for students, but the boy – who is also suing for future loss of earnings – had been severely bullied at school and left illiterate and innumerate.

The Melbourne court heard the boy had the literacy of a six-year-old when he was accepted into Year 7, the first year of high school, in 2008, the ABC said.

Although the boy suffers from a severe language disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and a general learning disorder, he is too intelligent to attend a special needs school, the court also heard.

"The Department is defending the claim," a spokesman for the Victorian Department of Education told AFP. "It would be inappropriate to comment further as the matter is before the courts."


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