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The national school curriculum over-emphasises indigenous culture and history and is a disaster waiting to happen, opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne says.

The draft national curriculum "has been skewed to a black armband view of Australian history", he said.

"The national curriculum appears quite unbalanced as it stands at the moment," he told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.

"We have a seemingly over-emphasis on indigenous culture and history and almost an entire blotting out of our British traditions and British heritage.

"I am deeply concerned that Australian students will be taught a particular black armband view of our history without any counterbalancing.

"I know that the government will immediately demand that the opposition retract from its views that indigenous culture has been over-emphasised and there will be an attempt to snub a debate ... there will be false claims of racism by the government in order to shut down debate."

Mr Pyne said the coalition supported a national curriculum but not the "unbalanced" version released for consultation by the government on Monday.

He expressed concern about a lack of planning for implementation of the curriculum, and Labor's ability to deliver.

"To me, it smells of another disaster waiting to happen," he said.

"The national curriculum is unbalanced, the national curriculum won’t give young Australians confidence about their future because it doesn't teach them the .. balanced truth about their past.

"What the government has announced I think is an accident waiting to happen.

Mr Pyne said the draft curriculum had 118 references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture but none of the Westminster parliamentary system or the Magna Carta, on which Australia’s laws were based.

"There is absolutely no reason why you can't teach both sides of Australia's history," he said.

A coalition government would review the curriculum and "if the review confirms our very serious doubts, then we will scrap the national curriculum and will start again," Mr Pyne said.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the new national curriculum will take a "back-to-basics" approach in the classroom.

Mr Rudd today launched at a school in Canberra the draft curriculums for English, maths, science and history that every student in the country will study from pre-primary to year 10.

More than 150 schools will trial aspects of the new curriculum this year before the final version is rolled out in 2011.

For example, as part of the English curriculum, by the end of Year 2 a student should be able to handwrite legibly, read aloud fluently and use more formal language to engage in group and class discussions and make oral presentations.

By the end of Year 10, students should be able to develop complex ideas and explore social issues of global and local concern in their written work and are able to recognise multiple purposes for which texts are created.

In Year 3 history, students will learn about the significance of national days like Anzac Day, Sorry Day and Australia Day, and the meaning and symbolism of the national flag and anthem and Aboriginal flag.

Year 10 students will study the impact a social development such as migration, women's liberation or environmentalism has had on the Australian way of life.

But while the draft versions have been criticised for being too politically correct, the Prime Minister gave assurances the focus was on fundamentals skills such as grammar, learning to sound out words, punctuation and adding up.

"What we're on about… is making sure the absolute basics in education are taught across the country," Mr Rudd said.

Education Minister Julia Gillard said introducing nationally consistent curriculums would minimise disruption for an estimated 80,000 children who moved interstate every year.

Ms Gillard said attempts to introduce a national curriculum had been stymied by squabbling by the States.

The teachers' union said it was concerned not enough money would be spent on resources and training for teachers to teach the new curriculum.

Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos also accused the Government of not consulting enough with teachers over the new curriculums.

The drafts can be viewed at www.australiancurriculum.edu.au