Govt inquiry into COVID-19 impact on education
In December last year, the House Education Committee launched an inquiry into education of students in remote and complex environments. Designed to look at the role of culture, family and community in delivering better education outcomes, the inquiry sought input from stakeholders and experts. In recent months, it suspended the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Committee is again seeking input, specifically as Australian students and teachers move into the next phase of response to the pandemic. The Chair of the Committee, Andrew Laming MP, believes additional information as relates to recent events will provide valuable insights.
"The Committee has been examining how education meets the learning needs of students and how barriers in the education journey are overcome. The response of Australian schools to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for rapid adaptation to home and online learning, has clearly accelerated the importance of flexible and well-supported responses.
"We want to expand our range of evidence into specific lessons and consequences of rapid and flexible home and online learning and teaching. The Committee hopes to learn more about how these new flexible approaches might continue to be applied in remote and complex environments long after schools return to 'normal' face-to-face teaching.
"We also hope that some of the excellent stakeholders we've heard from so far might give us the benefit of their recent, COVID-19 experience so that we can take this inquiry forward," Laming said.
Beyond hearing more about adaptations and solutions to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee's areas of interest include:
- small remote schools, particularly in challenging areas like the tri-state area of central Australia;
- career counselling of remote students and means of connecting them to further education or local employment;
- challenges faced by regional schooling providers and initiatives in place;
- how families of vulnerable young children can access, enrol and remain in early learning, and the collaboration between early and primary education;
- the performance and monitoring of those in home schooling to maintain national minimum standards; and
- access and support to deliver the Australian Curriculum (including STEM) in a flexible way, to meet local learning needs and interests of remote students, including examples of innovative ways in which the curriculum is being delivered in remote schools.
Submissions and enquiries are invited via the Committee's website.
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