Most Victorian students will be educated from home during term 2, the state government has announced.
All government primary, secondary and special schools will move to remote learning and teaching to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Students will only be able to go to school if their parents can’t work from home, or if they are vulnerable without access to a suitable learning environment at home.
Students lacking digital access at home will be able to access free internet and laptops.
There will also be changes to the academic timetable for VCE and VCAL students, including the postponement of end of year exams.
“Every student will get the support they need, whether they are learning at home or attending school on-site. We will provide a device to every child that needs one and provide thousands more with free internet,” Education Minister James Merlino said.
“We know this is a difficult time, particularly for VCE and VCAL students, but we will support our students, our teachers and our schools every step of the way.”
VCE students will still receive an ATAR score.
However, there will be the following changes to the academic timetable for both VCE and VCAL students:
- The GAT test will move from June to October or November
- End of year exams will be postponed until at least December
- School based assessment tasks will be reduced where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements
- Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for impacts of coronavirus on senior secondary students.
- VCE study scores will continue to be a combination of school-based assessment and external exams.
- VCAL students will have more time to complete their courses and this will be consistent with the revised VCE dates.
- The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is also examining a compressed end-of-year exam schedule. This includes slightly shortening each exam.
- Some VET students may have the award of their VCE or VCAL delayed until the beginning of 2021 so they can complete mandatory practical or workplace learning requirements.
Small groups of VCE and VCAL students can also attend school for short periods if their learning requirements cannot be met at home. Physical distancing provisions will be made for the safety of teachers and kids.
As part of the unprecedented move to shift schooling to people’s homes, the state will loan more than 6000 laptops and tablets to students without access to digital technologies.
Schools will distribute other classroom devices as required to ensure all students who do not have access to a laptop or tablet at home will have one.
Free SIM cards or dongles will also be provided to thousands of students at government schools.
Term 2 begins on Tuesday 14 April with a pupil free day. Classes will begin on Wednesday 15 April.
Students will learn from home for the duration of Term 2, with the situation to then be reviewed.