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More Than Half of Aussie High Schoolers Don't Know Nation Is a Democracy

SYDNEY -- Australian high school students will be taught about their nation's system of government after a survey revealed more than half have no idea they live in a democracy -- or even know what it means -- Sydney's The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

This is despite students learning about the country's political structure at primary school in Year 6.The AusCivics program, developed by the Constitution Education Fund Australia (CEFA) and endorsed by the federal and state governments, will be rolled out after the school holidays.

"The Australian Electoral Commission has found that half of young Australians don't know that they live in a democracy or what it actually means," CEFA executive director Kerry Jones said.

"Children are taught in primary school but then half of them forget everything they've learned by the time they are 16."

Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett said the government supported the program as a way to remind young people of the "value of living in a democratic and free country."