April 05, 2020 20:38:21
Victorian Year 12 students may need to wait until 2021 to get the score they need for entry to university, Premier Daniel Andrews has said.
In an exclusive interview with the ABC, Mr Andrews also flagged that the state’s recovery from the crisis would be led by a boom in construction and major projects.
Mr Andrews, whose eldest son is in Year 12, said the State Government was committed to ensuring all students were able to get an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
“It is my aim,” he said. “If they can get an ATAR, if not within this calendar year, then very soon thereafter.
“We’ve got six or eight weeks at the end of the year that we can catch up.”
The suspension of classes due to coronavirus has left many VCE students uncertain about their plans for the year and beyond.
Mr Andrews said talks were underway with TAFE, universities and other states about arrangements.
“I know [the uncertainty] is very frustrating, including in my own household,” he said.
“I can’t give Noah, who is in Year 12, all the answers he wants, but as soon as we can, we will.
“The key point here is to get this right.”
With term two due to commence on April 15, Mr Andrews said plans were still being made on how schools would function.
“I don’t think term two will look like a normal beginning of term two,” he said.
“It is going to be different. There’ll be an arrangement where some students will be learning from home and that’s why it was so important to bring the school holidays forward, so we can do that work around online learning.”
Construction boom ‘will need to be even bigger’
Construction — which continues under the current stage three restrictions — will play a major role in the economic recovery from the crisis, Mr Andrews said.
“It’s probably too early to tell what the impacts of this coronavirus will be on a whole range of different projects: both government projects — level crossings, road and rail hospitals, schools — and also private sector projects,” he said.
“When we get to the other side of this, the biggest construction boom in our state’s history will need to be even bigger.
“We will need to do more to protect jobs, to create new jobs, and to make sure that we bounce back from this as strong as we possibly can.”
The state budget was due on May 5 but was postponed until later in the year, which Mr Andrews said would give the Government an opportunity to assess where the greatest need was.
“There will be a massive rebuilding project, a big project to stand with workers and their families to look after the most disadvantaged, to repair that damage as much as we can,” he said.
The number of new coronavirus cases in the state dropped again on Sunday with just 20 more people infected, but Mr Andrews warned against complacency, with further restrictions still likely.
“I know that we’ll get through this together, but it won’t be easy,” he said.
“And the notion that we can just turn all this off in a few weeks’ time, that’s wrong.
“And we shouldn’t be giving anyone false hope. We should be being honest with people.
“I think there will be a stage four at some point. This will be with us for weeks and months.”
Mr Andrews said there were no current plans to increase penalties for failure to abide by restrictions despite nearly 150 people being fined on Saturday for flouting social-distancing and isolation rules.
However he did not rule out introducing more severe penalties in the future.
The Premier also sought to reassure medical workers and support staff that more protective equipment had arrived, and more was on its way, but said Australia was battling with a global shortage.
April 05, 2020 19:01:40