SYDNEY — After nearly four months of at-home-learning, all students across Australia”s state of New South Wales (NSW) could return to the classroom.
The final stage of the return to the classroom saw more than 500,000 students from across years 2 to 11 from Monday.
“The majority of students returning today have not been in the classroom since the end of Term 2 and it is fantastic they are back where the best learning happens,” said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
While many parents have breathed a sigh of relief at the return, some, like Jenny, whose son is in year 6 at a private school in Sydney’s west, have remained cautious.
“I am still quite worried so we would like to remain home learning for another week and see how things go,” she told Xinhua.
She said her son is anxious to be reunited with his friends.
“He really missed them. So, if things go all right, he will go to school next week.”
While the state government has emphasized the move as an important step back to normalcy, they have also recognized the potential ongoing effects the extended period of lockdown and at-home learning may have had on children.
Part of this recognition comes in the form of special considerations and support for Year 12 students preparing for their end-of-school exams, which are scheduled to begin from Nov. 9.
In addition to this, last Thursday, the state government announced 250-Australian-dollar (about 190-U.S.-dollar) “thank you” vouchers for parents of school age children, who have had to shoulder the extra burden of home-schooling during the state’s lockdown.
“We all owe you, the mums and dads of this state, a great deal of gratitude,” said Perrottet.
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