BY EMILIO LANERA
VCE teachers are increasingly concerned Year 12 students are losing motivation to study during the COVID-19 pandemic, following the Victorian Government’s announcement students will learn from home in term two.
VCE English teacher Katrina Renouf said it will be challenging to keep kids motivated as classroom teaching is replaced by virtual delivery.
“There are going to be students who [will] fall through the gap because they’ll disconnect and it will be hard to reach them,” Ms Renouf said.
“If you are trying to email them to say ‘hey, you still haven’t signed up to the platform’ and they just don’t check their emails, then it’s going to be challenging to get through to those students.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last week announced the virus's spread would be better curbed if primary, secondary and special schools shifted to “remote and flexible learning and teaching”.
“I know this year will be different to any that students, teachers and families have experienced before – but we are making sure that our kids still get the education they deserve,” Mr Andrews said.
Only students whose parents cannot work from home and vulnerable students “without access to a suitable learning environment at home” will be allowed to physically go to school.
King David School year 12 student Ethan Cohen said studying is more difficult than usual because everything is “up in the air”.
“I seem to be studying less, and with less drive, goal and purpose,” Mr Cohen said.
“Previously I preferred to study at home just to separate my classes at school and my personal studies.
“But now that classes are also at home, I definitely would rather be at school for a change in study environment.”
To accomodate for the transition to online learning, year 12 VCE exams have been postponed until December.
Universities have also been asked to delay the start date of semester one next year to account for the impact of coronavirus on year 12 students.
But Monash University has not yet made any formal changes to its 2021 timetable.
St Bede’s College year 12 student Jonathan Cassar said he is upset that his final year has been extended, but he understands why given the current circumstances.
“I feel as though my studies are going to be and already are much more tiresome,” Mr Cassar said.
VCE study scores will still be a combination of School Assessed Coursework (SACs) and end of year exams.
However, Mr Andrews said SACs will be reduced where practical to relieve the pressure on students.