Tasmanian Labor is calling on the government to commission an independent review of the Tasmanian education ‘disruption’ so lessons can be captured to improve student engagement and retention.
Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said remote learning exposed many inequalities that meant some students didn’t do well during this period.
“Many students and families struggled with remote learning and some will be playing ‘catch up’ now they’re back at school.
“While school-based learning is the best approach for most students, there’s merit in looking more closely at remote learning. Schools have observed students with anxiety, and students disengaged from learning for other reasons, thriving during remote learning.
“That suggests we should have a closer look at making remote learning an ongoing mode of education for students who need support or have different learning styles, alongside traditional schooling.”
Mr Willie said while some schools have been surveying parents and students and capturing other information, a system-wide independent review should be initiated quickly by government to provide an objective analysis.
“That would allow us to capture insights while the experience is fresh in people’s minds, understand what worked well and what could be embedded moving forward.
“Before the pandemic hit, data from the Productivity Commission showed Tasmanian school students had the worst post-school outcomes, lowest literacy, and lowest attendance and retention rates in the country.
“Anything we can learn from the education disruption that helps keep students engaged and in school is worth looking at.”
Mr Willie said an independent review would support the Department of Education Strategic Plan and system goals, including ensuring everyone is participating and engaged in learning.
“It could examine resourcing, professional learning, access to technology, student mental health and wellbeing, attendance, engagement and retention.
“This is an opportunity to find better ways to meet the needs of all of Tasmania’s students and take a more innovative approach to education, and I urge Jeremy Rockliff to commission a review.”
Shadow Minister for Education