'Difficult' Shakespeare, Wordsworth dumped by Oz schools

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Melbourne, Mar 01 (ANI): A radical HSC English course in Australia has done away with Shakespeare and Wordsworth to make it more relevant for students who have to stay at school until they are 17 as per the law.

The Board of Studies have shunned the classical works and replaced it with contemporary texts such as 'Catcher In The Rye,' 'The Motor Cycle Diaries' and movies like 'The Matrix.'

The move has been designed for senior students who don't plan to go to universities.

Already, it is being piloted in 75 government and non-government high schools across the state.

It is assumed to benefit lower achieving students who would have been at risk of dropping out of school at 15 or 16 under the old leaving age law.

The course documents for English studies states the syllabus will "support students in developing proficiency in English to enhance their personal, social and vocational lives".

However, the students must "engage with the community through visits, surveys, interviews, work experience, listening to guest speakers and/or excursions".

"After changes to the school leaving age were announced we didn't want students being discouraged from staying on to complete their HSC because English is mandatory," the Daily Telegraph quoted Education Minister Verity Firth, as saying.

Firth added: "The feedback from teachers was that some students felt they didn't need two-unit English, or found it too difficult, so an alternative was needed.

"The course will be very useful in preparing students for further training and employment.

"Employers demand good literacy and communication skills."

The English Studies will be evaluated after the one-year trial and could be formally launched as an HSC subject as early as next year. (ANI)

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