The Andrews Labor Government has closed schools as part of its five day hard lockdown following the outbreak at the Holiday Inn.
School closures should be the last resort as education is too important to compromise.
We know that student learning was compromised in 2020 and we desperately need some continuity in 2021. Students need certainty for both their educational and mental health wellbeing.
Students were traumatised with the difficult lockdown of 2020 and it is imperative to manage their mental health and give them a positive start to 2021. A lockdown, even for three school days, is stressful and reminds students of the horrors of virtual learning last year.
We have not yet learned what the effects on students’ learning and mental health were from the 112-day lockdown in 2020, and this lockdown is only going to compound any trauma and stress experienced.
I have been already inundated with calls from distressed parents and teachers who are concerned that the learning decline from 2020 is now being compounded with a poor start to 2021.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Education, David Hodgett:
“School closures should be a last resort and every effort should be made to protect our children’s education from both an academic and mental health perspective.
“The Andrews Labor Government has said that it is not acceptable for students to go to school to learn, but it is totally reasonable for students to perform their duties as ball kids at the Australian Open. Their medical advice does not make sense.
“We still do not know how disadvantaged students were from last year’s chaotic academic year and this lockdown is going to compound any problem.”