NSW recommends keeping children at home, Victoria advances vacation

Mar 24, 2020

Rear view of students sitting with hands raised in classroom

Source: Getty Maskot

New South Wales state premier Gladys Berijiklian recommended parents keep their children at home, though she noted that schools will be kept open in case working parents need it. Victoria has advanced the holidays and closes on Tuesday. ACT teaches online.
The New South Wales (NSW) government-backed measures announced last night by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to close down venues for worship, worship, indoor sports, and entertainment.

NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian told a press conference in Sydney that her government supports the move, which includes keeping schools open.

"For parents who have no other choice, for working parents, schools are safe for their children to attend classes and therefore the schools will remain open," he stressed.

However Berijiklian urged parents to keep their children at home for the rest of the quarter. The premier indicated that already 30 percent of parents have withdrawn their children from schools and receive their classes online.

"We know that these are uncertain times and we thank all of our teachers and all of our front-line workers who are making a great effort to keep the community going," he told reporters on Monday.

For her part, Kerry Chant, NSW Director of Health, explained that the decision to keep the schools open was "practical."

NSW Health confirmed 136 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Monday morning, bringing the number of cases to 669. 

Victoria and ACT close on Tuesday

Schools in Victoria and the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) will close on Tuesday as the holidays, which began on Friday, have been brought forward due to an increase in coronavirus cases. Both Victoria and ACT have promised distance classes, although there is still confusion about how they will be delivered.

Other states and territories will still keep these schools open until the Easter break.

Victoria, like the ACT, brought school vacations forward to allow for early closings and facilitate online classes.

ACT government number two Yvette Berry said schools have the capacity for change since she has invested a large amount of money in students and digital capacity in recent years.

"The ACT Board of Education will offer options to school-age children whose parents and caregivers need to continue to provide essential services to Canberra during this period," Berry said in a statement.

States and territories have jurisdiction over schools and therefore can make unilateral decisions about school closings.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed that parents who want to keep their children out of class can do so until the end of the first trimester.

Morrison, who has insisted that schools should remain open during the pandemic, insisted that schools will reopen by the second quarter, provided medical advice is available at that time.

Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal government website, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath.


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The post about “NSW recommends keeping children at home, Victoria advances vacation" first appeared on the SBS Spanish website.


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