Remote learning for all students during lockdown.

Remote learning for all students during lockdown.

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Remote learning for all students and no onsite teaching till end of lockdown.

This is a call on the Victorian government to ensure that for the duration of the lockdown, all students take part in remote learning (including senior school students) and, not to send teachers back to onsite teaching.

1. REMOTE LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS – DURING TERM 3 LOCKDOWN

In the latest press conference Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said of the outbreak in Al-Taqwa college, ‘The virus appeared to have spread among senior students with the same virulence as is seen among adults. They are older kids, they tend to have more transmission that is akin to adults if they’re not doing the physical distancing appropriately."

Given that the government have identified the risk of spread is higher than they first anticipated in senior secondary students – there is no rational justification for putting the health of teachers and students at risk by sending senior students and teachers back to school.

We can see from Al-Taqwa College how quickly this virus can get out of hand in a school setting. It is the now the largest outbreak we have had in Victoria. This was despite the school trying their utmost to prevent an outbreak through daily temperature testing, hand sanitiser and social distancing measures. In addition, most of the positive cases linked to this outbreak were discovered on the school break. This could have been a far worse situation had they have still been at school.

2. IF YOU CAN WORK FROM HOME, YOU MUST WORK FROM HOME

We can work from home and engage in remote learning for the short term, especially as we know this will reduce the risk of transmission and contraction of Covid-19. If we are remotely teaching this can be done from home, there is no reason for staff to be forced back to school in this current climate.

Last time we had a lockdown – schools were kept open for children of essential workers. In light of the information around the transmission of the virus through aerosol water droplets that are created through breathing, the distribution of personal protective equipment in addition to training in its effective use, is vital to ensure that the children of essential workers and their teachers can effectively reduce the risk of transmission.  

As a teacher I am worried about the risk that this return to school poses to my colleagues, my students and my family. Hundreds are being diagnosed everyday. I dislike remote teaching, but in this situation it is necessary to prevent the continuation of these outbreaks.

Education is important however, being dead or seriously ill negates education. The health and wellbeing of my family and students is my highest priority.