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Few relish Big Mac courses

AUSTRALIA. McDonald's plans to offer courses in hamburger-making in secondary schools, to the alarm of teacher unions.

The fast-food chain said it was seeking accreditation for its training courses from school authorities so they could be run alongside academic subjects for students in their last two years of high school.

Under a scheme that began in Victoria in 1994, secondary students can include vocational studies as part of their final two-year course.

McDonald's has already won accreditation and recognition for its courses through the Australian National Training Authority which oversees all technical training. Now it wants to move into secondary schools, and its staff will train and assess those who enrol.

The Australian Education Union said it was alarmed by the move. "Are the education and training courses offered by Big Mac a proper partnership between industry and education?" asked a spokeswoman.

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