Next year will see two new subjects being introduced into schools, specifically aimed at reducing the amount of time children spend on computers and their smart phones.
Over the past decade there has been an exponential increase in the amount of time children are spending on a device. Schemes such as “bring your own device” have only amplified the problem.
In a recent study by the UNSOW, 5000 high school students were monitored for a month and the amount of time in front of a screen was recorded. What made this study remarkable was that if a student was on a smart phone while watching TV, it was counted as two devices. It was found that the average amount of screen time was 20.5 hours, and over 30% of students spent more than 24 hours a day in front of a screen.
As a result of this explosion in screen time, the NSW Monister of Education, Rob Strokes, announced two new subjects to reduce screen time. Both subjects will be mandatory subjects from years 7 to 10 and will replace English and Maths. The subjects are “The Internet” and “Computer Games”.
When asked how these subjects will reduce screen time, Rob Strokes was quick to explain the logic. “Experience has shown that the best way to kill a student’s interest in a subject is to force them to learn it at school. The department of education has managed to utterly destroy a student’s love of a book or movie by having an English teacher spend a month micro-analysing it. Likewise, some great songs can now bring adults to tears due to traumatic experiences associated with them at school.”
The “Computer Games” subject is expected to have the greatest results. Students will be asked to analyse games in terms of character development, themes, visual effects, and what the programmer was trying to achieve. In later years, they will then analyse the socio-economic impact that games are having, how they portray woman and minority groups, and how they are impacting on global warming.
The scheme was trialled in 3 high schools in 2017. Year 9 student William Gates said that as a direct result of the subject, he can no longer enjoy League of Legends. Previously he did not realise that the game stereotyped woman and was racist. Now he can’t play the game without realising there is a back story and it just gets in the way of shooting the $^^@ out of the other players.
If successful, the World Health Organisation will be recommending the subjects become a standard part of the curriculum world wide. Rob Strokes was disappointed by this announcement and announced “we were hoping that it would be backed by an organisation with a bit of power that could actually change things”.