26 September 2023

Premier’s praise for pandemic schooling

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Staff of the Department of Education have been praised by the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk for preparing a “back to school like no other”.

Ms Palaszczuk also said that families, teachers and principals had made “an heroic effort” in readying students to learn from home to further curb the risks of COVID-19.

The Premier said support measures had included an initial extra 5,254 laptops for families in need; 5,000 SIM-cards; 4,000 dongles and hot spots, and new and repurposed laptops, iPads and internet devices.

“In addition, there are two new hotlines for State school (1800 570 793) and early childhood families (1800 454 639) for information and support,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“No family needs to feel alone; our teachers and principals are there to help — just as they’ve always been. Help is there when you need it.”

She said that for the next five weeks schools would be open only to vulnerable children, the children of essential workers and students in Indigenous communities.

Minister for Education, Grace Grace said no-one could have known at the beginning of the school year that the second term would be so different.

“I understand these are challenging times as we adapt to new ways of working and learning,” Ms Grace said.

“We have already shown how successfully we can pull together as a State and the results in slowing the spread of COVID-19 are world class.”

Ms Grace said the hotlines had been set up for State school and kindergarten parents to contact if there were any issues in the first few weeks.

“I encourage parents to contact their schools in the first instance,” she said.

The success of learning from home is to be assessed in late May.

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