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September 24, 2020, 11:45:42 am

Author Topic: COVID-19 and Education  (Read 33355 times)  Share 

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whys

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COVID-19 and Education
« on: March 12, 2020, 03:21:45 pm »
+14
I'm sure all of you guys are well versed with the new coronavirus. It has now been declared a global pandemic, and things have gotten out of hand with the public panic-buying canned goods and other non-perishable items, toilet paper and hand sanitisers. It takes more than a year to make an effective and safe vaccine that has been sufficiently tested clinically, so it's not something we can depend on for now.

There is no doubt that the economy is already facing negative effects. Now, it is not a matter of if, but when schools will be shut down across the state/country. Working parents will have children at home to look after. VCE students' learning will be disrupted. A school lockdown may be more likely during the Easter holidays, where it will be easier for them to add an extra 2 weeks of holidays to the existing school holidays. However, it is unpredictable when they will call on such drastic measures, as the extent of community cases are very difficult to predict when majority of people with the coronavirus are probably wandering around unaware that they have it.

The issue with the virus is that although its fatality is extremely low and is more likely to affect the elderly, it can very easily infect thousands. With symptoms like the cold and fever in mild cases (which make up the majority of cases) coinciding with Australia's flu season, it is extremely difficult to deduce if you have the virus or if it's just the flu. Although most people will not develop severe respiratory problems or die (from the information we have now), they could very easily infect others that are more susceptible to the fatal consequences of this newly discovered virus. The new virus spreads much more readily than the one that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS (also a coronavirus), and has infected more than ten times the number of people who contracted SARS. It had been reiterated many times that the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 makes it very easy to spread, so it will be very difficult to contain unless mandatory testing is set in place.

My question is, when schools do shut down, what is the VCAA going to do? They say they have plans to compensate, but I wonder what they are. Surely the only thing they can do is push the exams back further, let's say in December? Will they actually do anything? And how badly would schools be affected by this? I'd like to hear your thoughts on all this!

Geoo

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 03:29:22 pm »
+7
I do think they will add on the extra two weeks for the school holidays, however I don't know if it will do much. I honestly have no idea what VCAA will do, however, I do believe that there may be some extra compensation for all year 12 in the form SEAS. Maybe VTAC will give extra points as a boost as everyone will be highly affected, this may be a new category for 2020 only.   

I don't believe that the exams will be pushed back till December unless it is a worse case scenario, as the WHO and the Australian government believe that the COVID-19 will settle down in 6-9 months time. 
The one thing I am curious about is how closed schools are going to continue teaching VCE students. They may have to result to online teaching as universities are doing at the moment.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this unfolds.
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whys

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 03:48:45 pm »
+5
The thing is, if they give everyone SEAS, that kind of destroys the whole point of SEAS. It would be the same if everyone had SEAS or no one had SEAS, because you're just adding the same amount of points to everyone's ATARs. I guess I see how it could help fulfil a university requirement for a certain ATAR, but instead they could also lower uni cut-offs, but I can see how that can sort of disrupt everything.

I know my school will be having conferences that you have to attend (they're just calls that have everyone in the class in them). We've done this many times before. We call it DDD (digital delivery day) and do it once a term. It's basically video calls for each subject where the teacher teaches like normal and shares their screen so we can see the powerpoint/other things they use. Our school is also very reliant on technology so I'm sure we won't be as affected as other schools who are doing it for the first time. The only consequence is that learning from home can be very unproductive as no one is motivated to learn, which can be seen in all previous DD days where most people don't do work if it's asynchronous and just do the work later on, whenever they feel like it.

I wonder how this will all turn out in the end.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 05:11:29 pm by whys »

Ionic Doc

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 04:56:02 pm »
+4

I don't believe that the exams will be pushed back till December unless it is a worse case scenario, as the WHO and the Australian government believe that the COVID-19 will settle down in 6-9 months time. 
The one thing I am curious about is how closed schools are going to continue teaching VCE students. They may have to result to online teaching as universities are doing at the moment.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this unfolds.

I really hope if schools do shut down, then they compensate us for the time we have lost and push back exams. Otherwise it would be really unfair to schools and students who don't have any online system in place ( like mine and the majority  :P)
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tiredandstressed

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 05:50:18 pm »
+5
https://www.latrobe.edu.au/about/novel-coronavirus

A confirmed case at Latrobe University with many students saying Latrobe has not done much action concerning the confirmed case

What are everyone's thoughts, how will tertiary education be affected?
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Sine

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 06:37:15 pm »
+8
Everything is just speculation at this point but I do think that any sort of "compensation"by VCAA won't be enough to make for the differences in how a certain school responds to the changes. Like Ionic has said, obviously, some schools would easily be able to provide online resources and teaching through that but others may not have those facilities.

Aaron

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2020, 06:44:18 pm »
+11
As an eLearning Leader and teacher, now is my "prime time" for obvious reasons (if a shutdown were to happen)......... it is a real possibility and all students should prepare for this scenario in the event it does happen. My school is making plans already and yours probably are too. It is a very unique situation we are facing at the moment where there is a real risk of closure for an unknown period of time.... important to note that no response is going to be perfect.

Digital learning tools are your best friend when it comes to home study... I know nothing makes up for the lack of face-to-face teacher instruction and guidance but again, nothing is perfect. Edrolo, Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams (for teachers to use with students) etc..... every tool used to support learning is critical at a time like this
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 06:50:55 pm by Aaron »

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 07:41:44 pm »
+8
What are everyone's thoughts, how will tertiary education be affected?
I'd imagine at my uni that everyone would just swap to online only. There already are online resources available for a bunch of courses (although I'm not sure how many) because of all the students who were stuck in china for the start of the year. We've been getting constant updates from uni and have just had the first case confirmed in the act this morning, but haven't heard anything definitively about the plans for if there's a shutdown - hand sanitiser has appeared all over campus although it seems to be being used vary sparingly at the moment haha
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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2020, 02:46:46 pm »
+7
On Friday at 4:58pm, my uni announced they'd cancel all events, public lectures, concerts, arts events/rehearsals and sports games and trainings, basically anything deemed 'non-essential' (i.e. anything except class) until late June.

This was a blow to many of us who are in leadership positions and clubs and societies, including myself, who had planned so many events (now what do I have to live for?? lol)...but I understand the public health concern. Living in a residence with 500+ people is also an issue, I'm glad I'm healthy and not worried but others may not be so lucky. Over the past few days, lecturers and admin have announced classes going online from this week. This is not a huge deal for me as an arts student, but I can see it may be hard to learn for students in other faculties who may do labs and stuff. Many academics are already working from home.Students currently on exchange overseas are being urged to come back home. Students who live on res may feel safer to go back home and the uni is providing bursaries.

I think online classes are the best option with take-home exams. I hate take-home exams but this is the best we can do.
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iam_real_don

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2020, 06:18:55 pm »
+6
Well looking at a High School Education perspective in NSW, New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) has announced schools around NSW wouldn't be closed yet unless if a student had COVID-19. It would be closed for a day, the school would be quarantined and students return the next day, this has already happened with 3-6 schools. The reason for this is to make sure year 12 preparing for the HSC are diminished from their chances of getting a good ATAR. There have also been some talks on extended another 2 weeks from the Easter break if the COVID-19 situation gets worse. Currently, my school are trailing software systems so that we video conference classes from home, applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are now being tested. I resume that last thing NESA would have is a State-Wide All Schools closure because with that the virus could still spread due to students from different schools can mingle together when school is closed. If Australia goes full lockdown (which is very likely on where we are heading) I resume NESA have no option but to close schools as well which is likely to occur, looking to stop the spread of the virus. HSC could get moved forward. Giving extra ATAR points are dependable, due to all schools facing this issue, so school, in reality, is disadvantaged, therefore no ATAR points are needed. Its either All schools closure or all schools running, there is no last man standing. The last thing we want is a virus hindering us to get a good ATAR with the globe in a pandemic state (but it isn't worse as the Spanish Flu or Ebola), NESA encourages us to remain calm and they will be safety restrictions in place to stop the spread and to continue schooling. Education and lives are at stake here (also my ATAR)         
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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2020, 10:43:32 pm »
+3
I know that LaTrobe and Swinbourne (two Victorian universities) have paused classes this week. Anyone attending a uni where things like that are happening have thoughts?

It really seems to feel like there is no "right" decision to be made, and that every option has disadvantages.
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whys

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2020, 11:33:47 pm »
+3
I agree with laura, every choice has its disadvantages. I understand why the government hasnít closed down schools. Allowing the population to adjust is really important at a time when everything so unexpected, so their decision to wait isnít a decision I disagree with. However it also feels like the longer schools and other places where a large group of people meet and converse are open, the more steeper the curve will become, and the harder it will be to control it. Many health professionals who are now on the frontline treating those diagnosed with the coronavirus are a vital part of the health system, and many of them will have to stay home to look after young children if schools are on lock down, which decreases hospital efficiency (which is already compromised). We already know the shortage of coronavirus testing kits and beds in hospitals cannot accomodate people if there is a sharp incline in cases, which calls for immediate action to broaden the curve to allow the health system to operate efficiently at all times. Thereís so much to weigh in, and nothing is clear right now. (I still donít understand why Australia doesnít have stricter border control, but oh well).

I guess thatís the nature of the situation - no one is ever really prepared for such situations. Could anyone predict that in the future, there would be a period of time where thereís nothing on supermarket shelves? Perhaps itís due to selfishness and the mediaís overemphasis on panic-buying, but such outcomes werenít predictable and never will be.

I hope our healthcare system (and those of other countries) will be able to manage and cope in the wake of this virus for as long as it takes for a successful vaccine to arrive.

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2020, 05:47:25 pm »
+9
NAPLAN has been cancelled for this year :o
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Geoo

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2020, 06:46:32 pm »
+7
NAPLAN has been cancelled for this year :o
My younger self would have been so happy over that.....

On another note, will the GAT be canceled? That is technically a mass gathering..
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Aaron

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Re: COVID-19 and Education
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2020, 08:38:41 pm »
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NAPLAN has been cancelled for this year :o

fyi, it's not only the students that are happy. ;)

Quote
On another note, will the GAT be canceled? That is technically a mass gathering..
Can be done if split into classrooms. At the moment my school has cancelled everything (meaning gatherings, excursions etc) up until end of May.... but if the NAPLAN has been cancelled I don't like how this looks for the GAT in its current date. They will still need to do it as they use it as a basis for derived score and given "no student will be disadvantaged" it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 08:41:25 pm by Aaron »

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