Education | March 20, 2020
Government must ensure learning access for all – Kealy
Rural and regional students risk missing out on schooling unless the Andrews Labor Government recognises that its new Learning from Home initiative will not be available in all communities.
The government announced on Wednesday it had launched a new website to provide curriculum-based learning resources for early childhood services and primary and secondary school students, if schools were to close because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy MP said it was crucial the government acted to ensure students could learn from home if schools closed but said Labor had failed to realise that a lack of reliable mobile phone and internet service in many rural areas meant some children would not be able to access Learning from Home, even if provided with a 4G SIM card.
“There are many areas across the Lowan electorate where kids simply can’t access the network they require to run online learning modules, or engage in internet-based learning at home,” she said.
“Many rural homes don’t have access to mobile and internet due to lack of coverage, so with schools potentially being advised to close and no opportunity for online learning at home, country kids will be left behind.
“Labor’s city centric Premier needs a geography lesson – there are students that live outside the tram tracks and these students matter.”
Ms Kealy said the government needed to do everything it could to ensure all students had access to its home-based learning program.
“I call on the Premier to tell country students and teachers what resources he will give them to ensure they can continue with their education if their schools have to close,” she said.
“It is vital at this time that we keep our communities connected, particularly our youngest residents. The government must ensure that a potential change in their schooling environment does not rob children of the opportunity to continue their school education altogether.
“It is imperative that our country kids are not disadvantaged if they are required to study from home.”
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