How have home learning directives impacted ECEC? Government keen to know more
As part of an inquiry into the education of children in ‘remote and complex’ environments, the House Education Committee is seeking input from early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on home learning and teaching.
When the inquiry was initially launched in December, the Committee outlined areas of interest, but in recent months suspended its program of hearings because of the pandemic. Prior to the program of hearings being suspended, the Committee had received submissions from ‘a wide range of stakeholders and experts.’
Committee Chair Mr Andrew Laming MP said another opportunity for education and care professionals to have their say is now available.
‘The Committee has been examining how education meets the learning needs of students and how barriers in the education journey are overcome. The response of Australian schools (and early education settings) to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for rapid adaptation to home and online learning, has clearly accelerated the importance of flexible and well-supported responses,’ Mr Laming said.
As such, the Committee hopes to learn more about the specific lessons and consequences of the rapid rise toward flexible home and online learning and teaching, and specifically how these new flexible approaches might continue to be applied in remote and complex environments long after a return to ‘normal’ face-to-face teaching’.
‘We also hope that some of the excellent stakeholders we’ve heard from so far might give us the benefit of their recent, COVID-19 experience so that we can take this inquiry forward’ he added.
Beyond hearing more about adaptations and solutions to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee’s areas of interest include:
- how families of vulnerable young children can access, enrol and remain in early learning, and the collaboration between early and primary education;
- small remote schools; particularly in challenging areas like the tri-state area of central Australia;
- career counselling of remote students and means of connecting them to further education or local employment;
- challenges faced by regional schooling providers and initiatives in place;
- the performance and monitoring of those in home schooling to maintain national minimum standards; and
- access and support to deliver the Australian Curriculum (including STEM) in a flexible way, to meet local learning needs and interests of remote students, including examples of innovative ways in which the curriculum is being delivered in remote schools.
For more information about the Committee, please visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings.
You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.