All government secondary school students in years 9 and 10 will be taught about the Holocaust from this year, to tackle rising anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice in our schools and broader society.
Minister for Education James Merlino today directed the Department of Education and Training to ensure all government secondary schools are teaching the Holocaust and address broader issues of racism and prejudice.
While the Holocaust is in the current Victorian curriculum, it is not taught in all schools, and when it is, it is often not taught as well as it could be.
Mr Merlino also announced new and refreshed teaching and learning resources for Holocaust education will be developed in partnership with the Victorian Jewish community and Gandel Philanthropy.
The Andrews Labor Government will work with Gandel Philanthropy and the Jewish Holocaust Centre to develop resources for the Victorian curriculum context, based on adaptations of existing Yad Vashem teaching resources and lesson plans produced by the World Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem.
The Government will work with Victorian Jewish organisations, and alumni of the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators, to review the existing resources to ensure they are up to date and fit for purpose.
These steps are being taken to ensure Victorian students learn the lessons of the Holocaust and schools play their part in reversing the growth in anti-Semitism evident in our community.
Other related initiatives include increasing funding to Courage to Care, the establishment of a dedicated ethnic or religious vilification hotline for schools, students and parents, and the establishment of new student advisory group to look at what more we can do to make sure our schools are inclusive communities where diversity is valued.
As noted by Minister for Education James Merlino
“It concerns me that if asked, most kids today wouldn’t be able to explain what the Holocaust was. Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the globe and sadly we are not immune in our own Victorian community.”
“It is vital that each generation understands the horror of the Holocaust to ensure it can never be repeated and to educate the community on the damage caused by anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice.”
“This is about using this terrible historical event to talk to students and educate them about the broader issues of racism and prejudice in our society.”
As noted by Minister for Multicultural Affairs Richard Wynne
“Tackling racism and prejudice in schools is everyone’s responsibility. It’s our diversity that makes Victoria what we are and that is why we need to ensure our students understand the damage racism and discrimination can cause.”