Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan has said there will be “no Year 13” for final year students as the education system continues to adapt during the coronavirus crisis.
“The message out of education counsel is clear, there will be no year 13, no mass repeating,” Tehan told media on Tuesday.
“Every student will get an ATAR certificate so they can go on to university, vocational employment and employment next year.”
He said the government will be working further with the university and vocational education sectors to determine how ATAR scores will be calculated and assessed, though each state and territory will “jurisdictional responsibility” in terms of the assessment process.
Andrews said all children who are able to learn at home from next week, should very much do so. He also spoke about year 12 students and final year exams.
Victoria had brought term one’s end forward from Friday March 27 to Tuesday March 24. Next week the ‘school holiday’ period will be over.
Tuesday April 14 will be a pupil-free day, and term 2 will start Wednesday April 15 .
“School is going to look very different in term 2,” said the premier. “If you can learn from home, you must learn from home.
“And we’ve done the work, having brought those school holidays forward, we’ve done the work with the IT and all the other practical measures that are necessary to have many hundreds of thousands of students learning from home.”
Andrews said those children who can’t learn from home will not be “disadvantaged because of circumstances beyond their own control”. Schools will still be open with the same courses being run.
These students could be kids whose parents are essential health workers or supermarket staff, he said as examples. Or there could be “digital issues for some students, despite the work that we’ve done”.
Victoria’s Education Minister James Merlino said all students who require a laptop or tablet will receive one.
“We’ve got around 4,000 SIM cards, a thousand dongles, we’re working with internet providers,” he told reporters.
“We’ve got more than 6,000 laptops and tablets within the Department of Education and Training, and we’ve got many, many thousands more computers in our schools right across Victoria.”
Year 12 students and their parents across the country have expressed concern about interrupted learning ahead of final exams.
“It is our intention to have students that are completing their VCE, we want them to be through the system, to have completed their VCE this year,” said Andrews.
“They normally wouldn’t get an ATAR until next year anyway, but we want to have the year done with. There are a number of weeks at the end of the year so, it may be a longer year where we need to make up some lost time. We may need to catch up.”
Merlino added, “There will be no need for a year 13”.
NSW’s term ends on April 9, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian said last month the planning process for future alternative learning methods has commenced, as “we don’t know what the next five or six weeks will look like”.
“This has been a good chance for us, an opportunity for us, to make sure that whether it’s through web-based tools or whether it’s through home learning, that we have the systems in place to support our children, to support our students, given what we might face into the future,” she said at the time.
All states and territories advised parents to keep children at home in term one where possible, though schools have been open for essential workers’ kids.