The Australian government wants independent schools to resume physical classes or else lose federal funding.
Australian government pressures independent schools
Dan Tehan, the Education Minister under the Morrison government, summons the Independent Schools Council of Australia to adhere to the request of the parents who want physical classes to resume in the second term.
Independent Schools Victoria (ISV), a representing body for independent schools in Victoria, Australia, was among the first that issued the suspension of classes due to the COVID-19 outbreak and suggested online learning as a temporary alternative.
Now, chief executive of ISV, Michelle Green, is torn between the Australian government’s interest, the state supports the school closure to limit movement of the people that will also limit the transmission of the virus. At the same time, the federal side wants to resume classes due to parents’ request along with a possibility of losing federal funding if it didn’t comply.
Federal and State leaders will assemble for a national cabinet meeting this Thursday to discuss the policies to be imposed with regards to the reopening of classes, which is projected at the start of the second term on Tuesday.
Parents call for the resume of physical classes
The Australian government felt the pressure in losing the frontline workforce due to parents finding it hard to leave their children at home due to the school from home policy.
Tehan noted that only a few independent schools have actually canceled physical classes, but, he wants all independent schools to follow the mandate to resume physical classes to make it fair for everyone.
Some front line workers are holding back from their duties due to the concern over the children being left at home if they go to work.
The Education Minister also reminded ISV about his power over the issuance of school funding will be vital leverage for them to abide by the guidelines being handed out.
Tehan reminded that the independent schools should allow parents who wish to choose physical classes over distance learning without hesitance. Also, schools should still follow strict regulations by the Health Ministry regarding social distancing and sanitation in educational institutions.
On a side note, Tehan also issued a statement, that despite his interest to resume all physical classes in Australia, there are still considerations for those states that are under strict monitoring by the Health Ministry and the Australian government with regards to the coronavirus.
Green also pointed out that with the threat of federal funding and the advice of the chief health officer in Victoria to practice distance learning; The ISV, teachers, parents, and students are left confused as to which order should be followed. She calls for urgent clarification from the Education Minister on the particular matter.
Featured image by The Australian