Australian Catholic Schools are to remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision, according to National Catholic Education Commission Executive Director, Jacinta Collins, comes from the advice of the Australian Government and the State health authorities.
“While there is significant concern and debate regarding school closures in Australia to minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) It is our view that the government and public health authorities are in the best position to determine whether schools should remain open and we will adhere to this advice,” wrote Ms Collins in a press statement.
The intention in remaining open allows for the freeing up of the workforce – especially in the health sector on the front lines fighting the pandemic.
approximately 30 per cent of the health sector would be unable to work if schools did not resume
According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s public address today, approximately 30 per cent of the health sector would be unable to work if schools did not resume.
Ms Collins did not rule out the possibility of individual schools closing in future circumstances but stressed that as a general rule, Catholic schools would remain operational. “Should it become necessary for schools to close in some states or territories, or across Australia, our school communities will follow this advice and seek to minimise the impact on student learning as much as possible.”
“It is important that we remain calm and alert as we monitor this health risk, and for our families and staff to be well informed about the health advice and protocols to reduce this risk.”
the majority of children must return to school
Regarding children who were medically at risk, Ms Collins conceded a case-by-case basis to stay at home but by-and-large the majority of children must return to school.
“Some parents have chosen to keep their children at home or have special circumstances to consider. However, Catholic schools will remain open and operational until we have been advised otherwise.”
There are approximately 764,000 students enrolled in the Australian Catholic school system – approximately one in five Australian students.