Greens spokesperson for Training and TAFE Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today called on the Government to move TAFE teaching online, and to start working on how best to transition the practical based teaching and assessments, In order to protect students and staff from COVID-19– and to ensure TAFE students are not disadvantaged as the pandemic crisis continues.
Ms Xamon said it was ludicrous to expect TAFEs to remain open, particularly after the Government this morning announced a phased shut-down of public schools – and the development only this afternoon that Armadale TAFE had closed as a staff member undergoes COVID-19 testing.
“We need to be ensuring that we are allowing TAFE students the same allowances as those enrolled in WA high schools,” Ms Xamon said.
“We know that the Government is currently considering whether it may have to look at amending the ATAR exams later this year – and in the same way it needs to ensure it is taking the needs of TAFE students into consideration as well.”
Ms Xamon urged the Government to close TAFEs now, not only to protect students and staff, but to allow teaching staff to prepare online resources for students to access in Term 2.
She said everyone deserved a quality education, particularly during a crisis which is obliging students to self-isolate.
“TAFE students and staff need to be kept safe – but students must also continue to receive an education,” Ms Xamon said.
She said the Government also needed take into account the drastic reduction in placement opportunities as a result of social-distancing measures – a critical part of studies for many TAFE qualifications.
“It is more important than ever, as we face economic uncertainty during and after the coronavirus pandemic, that we have a well-functioning TAFE system, which is producing people with good qualifications.”