Ms DAWKINS question to MINISTER for EDUCATION and TRAINING, Mr ROCKLIFF
Students, parents and educators were shocked when you axed the highly effective pathway planners in 2014 and replaced it with the online career planning system, My Education. Observing the My Education assessment of a highly intelligent student recently I was stunned to see that one of the suggested career choices listed was amusement park attendant. No method, path or advice provided for the student to pursue that or any other of the career suggestions. The tool is clearly is not an effective career planner for Tasmanian students. Do you still think engaging an American company to produce a career planning website as a replacement for real people who have a personal and professional commitment to young Tasmanians, and at the cost of almost $3 million, was a good decision? Do you think we should be encouraging bright students to listen to a computer and aspire to be an amusement park attendant?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. There are very good reasons why we had to change the career planning education within the Tasmanian education system. It was because Labor ripped the guts out of pathway planners. It was a program across three years - grades 8, 9 and 10. Labor cut that program by two-thirds, leaving just career education and pathway planners in grade 10. Because they reduced its effectiveness, we had to find another way. We have developed My Education from kindergarten right through to grade 12. The first implementation of that was commenced last year in grade 10 and this year between grades 7 and 12. It commences next year for kindergarten to grade 6. We now have a career education program from kindergarten right through to grade 12.
There is an online tool available. I have been briefed on the program and, in my view, it is effective. I have also witnessed some professional learning and development with teachers. My understanding is that it is getting very positive reviews from within the schools. I believe it will be a very effective tool, and that will be proven to be the case. My understanding is that the shadow minister for education has also had a briefing on this matter. I have every confidence in the new career-planning tool. It will provide for effective industry engagement. It is important that we instil the importance of career, work and work ethic right throughout our school system, not just in grade 10. It was proven that just having a career education program in grade 10 in isolation was not enough, so Labor reduced its effectiveness.
I have every confidence in My Education. I have witnessed professional development activities and have had a comprehensive briefing on the program. I believe a career education program spanning kindergarten to grade 12 will be most beneficial to the students themselves and to industry.