Burnett parents fear children could be kept back
CONCERNS about their children being isolated and left behind have been raised by parents living in the more remote areas of the Burnett.
Yesterday marked the first day of Term 2 for Queensland students, most of whom started their lessons from the confines of their homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Odette McIlwraith's and Elizabeth Lawlor's sons attend Eidsvold State School, and both live on rural properties outside the township of Eidsvold.
The students are meant to complete two-hour lesson plans each day while they learn from home, which will at least be until May 17 when the State Government will review the restrictions.
Mrs McIlwraith said one of her concerns was about how her son Brogue was going to be assessed during this five-week period.
"He's my third child, and for a high school student I'm wondering what's going to happen, as in, do they get assessed?" Mrs McIlwraith questioned.
"Do they get a report card if they haven't been assessed?
"I'm hoping children won't have to repeat a year if this is to continue."
Both parents expressed concerns about how their children would miss out on the social side of school.
"They'll miss out on a lot of things, especially sports and group activities," Mrs McIlwraith said.
"It's hard to do those group activities with one child at home."
Mrs Lawlor agreed, and said as her son William was an only child living on a cattle property, he would especially miss contact with the other kids at school.
Mrs McIlwraith's family live on two properties 37km from Eidsvold, and work cattle during the day.
She said her son's home schooling factored in well with her work life, as she could muster while she left Brogue to study.
But internet connectivity can be an issue and she said they can encountered difficulties loading YouTube videos.
"Two weeks down the track we'll have to see how we're doing with data, but all things considered it went well, besides the site crashing when we were about to start," Mrs McIlwraith said.
Parents across the state were left dumbfounded yesterday morning when the homeschooling website promoted for the start of Term 2, crashed before the school day started.
Luckily for students from Eidsvold State School, learning packs were sent out to students containing work materials and sheets.
Eidsvold teachers also touched base on with parents on Monday.
"The combination of the two is good, as you've physically got something that you can read with notes," Mrs McIlwraith said.
"It's better for the child as well, as they won't just be sitting on the computer all day."
Mrs Lawlor said it was helpful to have received two weeks worth of manual paperwork prior to Term 2.
"At first I was really disappointed William's school year was interrupted," Mrs Lawlor said.
"But with the huge effort from the school providing all the resources they have, I am finding the home schooling just a new experience for William to cope with."
Mrs McIlwraith is now wondering how the school term will function after May 17 if children of essential workers have been attending school.
"If these students are going to school each day for their normal hours, and we're only doing smaller lessons at home, will they be at different levels?" she questioned.
"Some of those at school might've done a lot more compared to those at home, so it's going to be interesting what will happen when they return to school."