IT’S the hottest topic of conversation before the Premier Daniel Andrews makes his pronouncements on Monday – should they, or shouldn’t they?
The Herald-Sun has already jumped the gun today with an ‘exclusive’ report that years 11, 12, preps and grade 1 students will resume classes at school in the last week of May.
But locally the community is still very divided, with most voting for students to stay home at least until the start of Term Three, on Monday, July 3.
And it’s not just about the kids, they say.
Many believe opening up the schools to kids will increase the transmission of the virus to older or infirm people in the community.
Of the 1241 people who voted in the Sentinel-Times’ online poll, 1/3 voted to go back to school, and 2/3 voted to wait until next term. Here are the results:
* 391 – Yes, get them back ASAP
* 850 – No, wait for Term Three
And there was a diversity of comments too:
- Trevar Alan Chilver: Teachers are doing a fantastic job of adapting to this, and the remote learning they’re guiding is effective. To change course now would not be wise.
- Crystal Lea: I think it would be better to wait and see how everything goes with the first set of restrictions lifted and if all is still going well, then let them go back.
- Ken Barnes: Our opinions are not based on facts as we do not have access to raw data. Leave this decision to our Premier who’s being advised by experts in their field. Stop wasting time on mischievous polls.
- Fredrick Bloetz: Yes, as a cancer affected person with a wife as a school teacher the risk is still there and home teaching is working for now until they can control it.
- Mark O’Donohue: Whatever Dan says he has earned my trust. Personally, I’d go with erring on the side of caution. Morrison’s sudden concern for education I believe is just a tool he is using to push an agenda. I assume Morrison’s agenda is getting the economy back – with some loss of kids, teachers and grandparents being ok. Maybe that does have merit vs suicides and abuse, dire income loss etc – maybe. But if so, they should model that and try and sell the truth not this fake narrative about sudden love of face-to-face learning. My real fear is that Morrison’s agenda is driven by ideology and the need to placate his master’s Gina & Rupert & the like.
- Pauline McGregor: Let’s be fair to our kids and teachers. They’ve had enough disruption already. They are prepared for a full term of remote teaching and learning. Yes, it can be hard, but the benefits to our kids can be enormous, with so much more time to play, explore and most importantly spend with their family. They’ll be keen to get back no doubt and schools will be preparing to make up for lost class time. Kids are learning to work more independently and for many, the lack of distraction is a huge benefit. Out of 13 years of formal schooling, a couple more weeks is a drop in the ocean. Remember, schools are not there to babysit while parents head off to “more important” jobs, and many teachers are parents too, juggling their work and families.
- June Laycock: Again a school student tested positive to COVID-19 with connections to Cedar Meats and if that student was going to school with a class full of students, what a break out that would be.
- Shona O’Dy: We are already now in a routine, and while it is hard for all concerned I think we would be in a better position after winter. Better for my colleagues, my students and their parents; but safer for the wider community.
- Christine Slavin: Wait until July 3rd and determine that it is safe, their health is more important to me than a blip in their education. If they open back up it should be staggered, once or twice-a-week in small groups.
- Drew Breen: With no active cases in the region I don’t see the problem in sending them back.
So, there you have it, a 68 per cent vote in favour of waiting until Term Three to fully reopen the schools.
But will those making the loudest noise, instead of the “silent majority” be heard when the Premier Daniel Andrews makes his decision on Monday.
Either way, there’s bound to be a continuing divergence of views.
NSW is not due to make an announcement about easing restrictions until Friday.