New South Wales plans to help students will handle the complex questions of modern life with a new Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) syllabus from Kindergarten to Year 10 announced on 13 April.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the complete overhaul of the PDHPE syllabus to take effect next year was long overdue with the current course being first published in 2003.
“The world is unrecognisable compared to just 15 years ago,” Mr Stokes said. “Almost unbelievably, students are being taught from a text drafted before social media or smart phones were invented.”
The new syllabus will tackle contemporary issues plaguing students; such has how to behave responsibly, safely and sensibly online, along with measures on how to report cyberbullying.
“Bullying is an abhorrent form of abuse that should not be tolerated in any form, including online.” Mr Stokes said.
One of the most significant changes is a greater emphasis being placed on mental health. The new syllabus educates students on how to spot the early warning signs for stress and depression, along with information on how to seek out help.
“Stigmas surrounding mental health are a thing of the past. Students need to know that help is always available, and that they should speak openly about mental health.” Mr Stokes said.
Key changes for older students also include lessons on how to get students ‘life ready’. With content available on how to write a résumé, properly reply to a job advertisement and practice interview techniques.
“Part of our responsibility in educating students is to ensure they have the tools to lead active, healthy lives,” Mr Stokes said.