POINTS TO PONDER
Educationally, I think 2020 will become a ‘marking of time’ year at primary, secondary and tertiary level. Whatever can be cobbled together to support a maintenance of some study attitude will be useful, but that will be about as far as it goes. For students to be a year older and more mature in the ways of life when returning to reopened schools and universities in 2021 may not be a bad thing. 2020 looks like being a global gap year.
If schools are closed provision will have to be made for the children of doctors, nurses, medical support staff and child care workers. and so on. Without this support there will be a major drop off in medical and related professional staff able to go to work. This surely means some schools will have to be partially opened to provide for this care.
The COVID-19 virus is a threat to schools and schooling. It is the most major threat to education since the introduction of NAPLAN testing in 2008. This virus adds to the annual mental threat and worry NAPLAN poses to students, teachers and school leaders. The need for resilience is being sorely tested.
It is beginning to appear that the Australia-wide NAPLAN testing program due in May, could well be disrupted by the impacts of COVIG-19 on education. This might be a good time to consider the discontinuation of a phyrric and increasingly irrelevant testing program. NAPLAN has become an ingrained annual habit that defocuses schools, staff and students from relevant, meaningful teaching and learning