All Victorian high schools will be required to educate students about the Holocaust in a bid to stamp out a concerning rise in anti-Semitism in the wider community.
Education Minister James Merlino said he was concerned that “most kids today wouldn’t be able to explain what the Holocaust was”.
The state government will modify the curriculum to ensure all year nine and 10 students at public schools are taught about the systemic murder of six million Jewish people by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The Holocaust is in the current Victorian curriculum, but Mr Merlino said it is “not taught in all schools, and when it is, it is often not taught as well as it could be”.
“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,” Mr Merlino said.
The government will develop new teaching resources in partnership with Jewish community organisations and issued to all schools this year.
The move follows a number of anti-Semitic incidents at Victorian state schools last year, including reports a young boy was called a “Jewish cockroach”, while another Jewish student was made to kneel down and kiss the shoes of a Muslim classmate.