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Katina Curtis, AAP Senior Political Writer
(Australian Associated Press)
Scott Morrison wants to get Australia’s children back into classrooms as soon as possible amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister says face-to-face learning is better for students and would free up more opportunities for their parents to help the economy keep moving.
Almost all children will be learning via distance education as Term 2 starts, with schools only open to vulnerable kids and those of essential workers.
Some states have set an earlier review date of these measures than others.
Medical experts and politicians have consistently said there is no health risk to children by sending them to schools and childcare centres.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy has blamed parents and teachers for effectively shutting down Australia’s schools.
“Most of the state governments actually didn’t want to close the schools, it was the parents and the teachers who closed the schools,” he told a New Zealand parliamentary hearing on Tuesday.
Mr Morrison said leaders would discuss the topic of schools and how best to protect teachers when national cabinet meets on Thursday.
He sees it as a high priority.
“We’ve got to get those issues right for the safety of teachers, that’s fair enough, but ultimately we need to get kids back into school,” he told Sky News.
“If online and distance learning was a better way of delivering education then that’s what we’d do all the time.
“Of course teaching in the classroom, teaching face-to-face, teaching in that environment with kids together is a positive environment for children to learn.”