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Victoria stands by remote learning despite PM’s conflicting message

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Victoria has stood by its remote learning education model despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s calls for parents to send their children to school.

Victoria has stood by its remote learning education model despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison's calls for parents to send their children to school.

Education Minister James Merlino said the message from the Victorian government was "clear and consistent" and that students who can learn from home, must learn from home during Term 2, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"There is no confusion from the Victorian government," Mr Merlino said.

"Our message has been consistent right along. Victoria is responsible for the schools system. It is making a difference. We are doing this because it will save lives."

It comes as Victorian principals slammed the prime minister for creating confusion among parents after releasing a five-minute video on Facebook at 7.30am yesterday, the same morning Term 2 was due to commence remotely in Victoria.

"It's so important that children are able to keep physically going to school," Mr Morrison said in the message.

"We cannot allow a situation where parents are forced to choose between putting food on the table through their employment, to support their kids and their kids' education.

"We will lose many things in the course of fighting this virus. One thing that I know teachers are united on, with parents, is we do not want one of those things to be the loss of a child's education, giving up a whole year of their learning."

The conflicting message led to Victorian schools being forced to cope with more students that they were prepared for when Term 2 resumed yesterday.

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton maintains the recommendation that schools should undertake remote learning for the term's duration.

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Three per cent of the state's students attended school onsite yesterday.

More than one million students are enrolled in schools.

Over 30,000 laptops and tablets have been provided to students as the remote learning model kicks off.

Mr Merlino stressed schools were still open for students who could not learn from home, including the children of essential workers and highly vulnerable students or those with additional learning needs.

"Students should not be turned way if there is no way they can have a home learning envionment," he said.

"I am proud of how our schools, parents and students have responded."

Mr Morrison will lead a National Cabinet meeting today with state and territory leaders, with schools set to be a topic of discussion.

Source: 9News

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