Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has stressed schools must continue remote learning during Term 2 to ensure the state’s coronavirus pandemic is kept at bay.
The state government’s firm stance on the issue did not budge at today’s press conference, despite Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien pushing for more face-to-face learning immediately.
“There are too many kids who are missing out on the education they need, particularly vulnerable kids – kids for whom home doesn’t provide the best learning environment,” he told reporters yesterday.
It comes as Victoria recorded two new cases of coronavirus overnight, bringing the state’s total to 1351.
There are 23 people in hospital, including 11 patients in intensive care.
But Premier Andrews said students learning remotely was “right” until the state’s largest ever testing expansion of COVID-19 showed it was safe to ease stay-at-home measures.
The earliest restrictions could be lifted is May 11, when Victoria’s state of emergency comes to an end.
“A million kids roaming around Victoria, tens of thousands of teachers, hundreds and thousands of parents – that’s hardly consistent with staying at home,” Mr Andrews said.
“We are clear, Brett Sutton is clear, parents are clear.”
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton has not ruled out changing his advice during Term 2 once results returned from the target of 100,000 Victorians tested in two weeks under the expansion scheme.
Schools remain open for students who are unable to learn from home, including the children of essential workers.
Figures showed 97 per cent of Victorian students were learning at home, with three per cent still attending schools.
“I’m very confident there will be coursework, there will be assessment and that kids are being looked after and are learning in unprecedented times,” Mr Andrews said.
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