The Learning Impact Fund is a recent initiative made to identify, evaluate and adjust the scale of funding for effective Australian education programs. While much of this seems like business as usual, this particular fund has earmarked a significant portion of it $1 million budget for seeking out programs to improve the “emotional resilience” of students.
The fund’s director Matt Deeble has gone on record saying, “The aim is to identify promising school-based initiatives that build social and emotional learning and resilience in Victorian students, which also improve academic achievement.”
While the scheme claims that the reason that these extraordinary measures are required is due to a more competitive job market and over-exposure to technology and the internet, the truth seems to lie more in the ever increasing pressures that students are facing. Students are expected to be perfect in every aspect of their life, with perfect academic records, extra-curricular activities and part time employment to fund the spiralling costs of their own higher education. Combined with the reduced funding that universities are receiving and the subsequent loss of experienced educators to other sectors, is it really a surprise that young people are struggling?
75% of all mental diseases begins to manifest before the age of 25, so it is absolutely vital that the pressures being levelled on students are reduced immediately if we hope to have a functional generation to take over when the current one retires. The industry leaders, politicians, doctors and teachers of the future are being driven out of higher education by the pressures that are being cultivated there. The less lucky of them are also being driven into ongoing psychiatric care.
The funding is available to Catholic education offices, charities, universities, government bodies, social enterprises, not for profit organisations and private companies. The net is being cast wide in the hope of finding some sort of viable solution to either reduce stress or increase the “resilience” of students.
If you happen to have a bright idea for a scheme to reduce stress in students or to increase their ability to ignore the pressures being piled on top of them, applications for the grant are open until the 5th of October 2016.