Victorian parents have overwhelmingly followed the state government’s advice, with the vast majority of students logging in to learn from home on day one of term two.
Only three per cent of Victorian students physically attended school at the start of term two on Wednesday, as most followed government advice to learn remotely.
Education Minister James Merlino has thanked parents and teachers for turning around remote learning in a matter of weeks.
Mr Merlino said day one was far from perfect, as some online remote platforms had intermittent crashes and intruders loomed in video conferences.
My advice to the Victorian Government was and continues to be that to slow the spread of coronavirus, schools should undertake remote learning for term two.
— Chief Health Officer, Victoria (@VictorianCHO) April 15, 2020
But the government never expected the first day of uncharted territory to be perfect, and Mr Merlino advised on Thursday that more bumps would come along the way.
“Overwhelmingly I am proud of how our schools have responded and I am proud of how our parents and students have responded,” the minister said.
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Stressing that government advice to learn from home was consistent with the federal agreement, Mr Merlino said they were ensuring schools were safe for those who were not able to study at home.
But parents should only send children to school if it was impossible for them to provide a learning environment at home, the minister said.
“Not if it is hard or difficult. If it is impossible,” he said.
“There will be good days and bad days for teachers, students and parents … but if you can you must learn from home.”
The government will loan about 30,000 laptops and tablets to families who need them, as well as provide 500 mobile sim cards to bushfire-affected and vulnerable communities.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said his advice to the state government was that schools should undertake remote learning for term two.
“By having remote learning, it can contribute to physical distancing and therefore support efforts to drive (virus) transmission down,” he said.