Bath calls for VCE support for locked down students

Latrobe Valley VCE students caught up in the local outbreak of Covid -19 must have online provisions provided to support them through their upcoming exam period.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region and Shadow Assistant Minister for Education, Melina Bath said a number of VCE students were impacted by health orders through no fault of their own.

“The timing could not be worse for local students who have tested positive to Covid-19 or who are under a compulsory 14 days quarantine order.

“VCE exams create significant pressure without the added stress of a Covid positive diagnosis or quarantine orders.

“Impacted Latrobe Valley students completing year 11 and 12 VCE exams need structured support to help them finish their studies.

“These secondary school students need the immediate provision of an online exam option, offering a derived study score is inadequate.

“There are many students living in Latrobe Valley who attend secondary school in adjacent local government areas – these students must not be forgotten.

“With cases seeding across regional Victoria, a solution must be put in place for all of our Gippsland students.

“Victorian VCE students have endured two years of education interruptions – stumbling at the final hurdle because the Andrews Government failed to plan is heartbreaking for students and their families.

“Labor has been kicking the can down the road when it comes to supporting senior secondary school students.

The Year 12 General Assessment Test (GAT) in 2021 is overdue, with Victoria students only sitting the GAT today.

As Latrobe City is a designated hotspot VCE students must return a negative Covid test before they are permitted to sit exams.

Ms Bath said after the debacle of 2020 VCE exams, a contingency plan is needed for VCE education and examinations.

“The Victorian Nationals and Liberals have been calling for the immediate provision of an online exam option for students who test positive or are required to isolate during the upcoming examination period,” said Ms Bath.

“It is extraordinary that after two years remote learning, the Andrews Government still has no plan for VCE students to sit their final exams if they test positive or are ordered to isolate.

“Universities pivoted and adapted to online exams during Lockdown 1 in March 2020, yet in October 2021 the Andrews Government has made no investment in this area for VCE students.

“The technology exists for online exams, but there is no will from the Andrews Government.

“The Andrews Government must release an urgent plan to cater for vulnerable VCE students to ensure they are properly supported through their examination period.”