Prac­ti­cal life lessons for teens

The Australian Education Reporter - - NEWS - EMMA DAVIES NSW

YEAR 11 and 12 stu­dents in NSW will soon have ac­cess to a new Life Skills course aimed at help­ing them avoid the pit­falls of young adult­hood.

The manda­tory Life Ready Course will be in all gov­ern­ment schools by the start of 2019, and cov­ers prac­ti­cal skills such as fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in­clud­ing bud­get­ing, consumer rights, pur­chas­ing on­line and re­spon­si­bil­ity for credit, debt and sav­ings.

Fig­ures re­leased by the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion in early July re­vealed Aus­tralians now have al­most $45 bil­lion out­stand­ing in per­sonal credit card debt, with ap­prox­i­mately one-in-six Aus­tralians strug­gling to pay their bills.

“By be­ing fore­warned and fore­armed with fi­nan­cial knowl­edge, we can help stu­dents plan re­spon­si­ble bud­gets and avoid per­sonal debts that could keep them trapped well into their thir­ties,” NSW Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Rob Stokes said.

Other pro­gram lessons in­clude lib­eral demo­cratic val­ues, cit­i­zen­ship and vot­ing, road safety, men­tal health, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, on­line gam­bling, sub­stance abuse and vol­un­teer­ing.

Mr Stokes said in­struc­tions for safe travel over­seas would also be part of the con­ver­sa­tion, due to the pop­u­lar­ity of cel­e­brat­ing schoolies abroad.

“High school grad­u­ates are still teenagers. We have un­for­tu­nately seen too many times where be­ing naïve while trav­el­ling abroad has had fa­tal con­se­quences,” he said.

The pro­gram will be taught over a 25 hour pe­riod in se­nior years and aims to en­sure sec­ondary stu­dents are pre­pared for adult­hood.

“I want to en­sure that schools ad­e­quately pre­pare stu­dents not only for work and fur­ther study, but for the par­tic­u­lar chal­lenges they may face in the first few years af­ter school,” Mr Stokes said.

“Life Ready is not about stress­ful as­sess­ments or hard work.

“It’s sim­ply an op­por­tu­nity to share with stu­dents some sim­ple com­mon sense lessons the rest of us were forced to learn through years of bad mis­takes.”

It’s sim­ply an op­por­tu­nity to share with stu­dents some sim­ple com­mon sense lessons the rest of us were forced to learn through years of bad mis­takes,” he said.

Schools will be able to tai­lor the con­tent to suit their stu­dent co­hort, learn­ing needs and com­mu­nity con­text be­fore the pro­gram kicks off next year.

The min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Rob Stokes (right), dis­cusses the new course with the prin­ci­pal of Con­dell Park High School, Susie Mobayed, and se­nior stu­dents.

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