Help for parents home-schooling their kids
The national broadcaster will step in to try and even the learning playing field by providing free education content to children who are forced to stay home due to the COVID-19 virus.
YouTube maths star Eddie Woo is likely to be included in the curriculum-linked content that the ABC will deliver to children of all ages from April 14 from 10am to 3pm each weekday, shifting from primary school content in the mornings through to secondary school content in the afternoons.
News Corp Australia understands the NSW Department of Education, headed up by the ABC's former managing director Mark Scott, led the work and this week the states and territories finalised their involvement.
With parents across the country wrestling with how to teach their children as well as the deep digital divide threatening to widen the gap further between our advantaged and disadvantaged students, the move was welcomed by educators.
President of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) Malcolm Elliott had been lobbying governments for schooling television and said it was an important step forward in a difficult time.
"Inequity of access to fast and reliable broadband and to handheld and other devices are in some way overcome by this. It is also a powerful symbol of how important learning is," he said.
"This allows the expertise of teachers to be bought into homes and establish modelling that parents can then emulate or draw on - and it provides some certainty about curriculum."
The content will be linked back to schools' timetabling so teachers will be able to reference it when setting their work.
ABC Managing Director David Anderson said the national broadcaster was ready to launch the extra resources on ABC ME after working with the states and territories.
"With so many Australian children now studying at home or preparing to do so, the ABC is boosting its support for students, teachers and parents to help young Australians receive the education they need," he said.
"Our expanded schedule will complement the many hours of education content already available on the ABC across multiple platforms and we will build on that programming as required. Australians trust and rely on the ABC and this is another way we can contribute to and support the community."
ABC Education will also create original teacher-led mini-lessons, which will be broadcast on the ABC Education portal and ABC ME, assisted by initial assistance from the NSW and Victorian education departments.
James Merlino, Victorian Minister for Education, said: "Learning from home is going to be new and challenging for everyone involved; students, their families and carers and for our teachers - it's fantastic to partner with the ABC in expanding its educational programming." Sarah Mitchell, NSW Minister for Education, said she was proud to collaborate with the ABC to deliver education services.
"This initiative will be valuable to students right across NSW and Australia."
In NSW on Wednesday 94 per cent of NSW public school students 'continued their learning' from home as the fractured education sector grappled further with how to teach children from a distance. While independent schools are well resourced to seamlessly move to distance education, public schools are rushing to teach teachers how to use Microsoft teams and wrangling with the legalities of using Zoom.
Originally published as Help for parents home-schooling their kids