Practical life lessons for teens
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.