Students will return to school full time from Monday after two months of studying from home amid the coronavirus pandemic
- NSW Public schools will return to the classroom full-time on Monday May 25
- Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed highly anticipated return date on Tuesday
- Students were forced to study remotely for two months due to coronavirus
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
NSW public schools will return to the classroom full-time next week, two months after COVID-19 restrictions forced around 800,000 children to study remotely.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the return date of May 25 on Tuesday.
Face-to-face learning resumed across NSW last week for Year 12 students at state and independent schools, but only for an average of three to four days a week. Other student year groups were allowed to return at least once per week.
Assemblies or excursions are likely to remain banned.
‘We want to make sure that face-to-face time in the classroom is what maintains and sustains learning through the pandemic,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
NSW public schools will return to the classroom full-time on Monday. Pictured: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian greets students during a visit to Prestons Public School in Sydney in January
‘But I do say it will be common for schools to be shut down temporarily, for a specific area to be on high alert, for a particular school to take extra measures if there’s a community breakout in that community with cases, and we just have to accept that.’
NSW recorded two new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday from some 5300 tests, with five people currently in intensive care.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said she is eager for students to return to school full-time.
‘My priority is the education of our children. We know that parents across NSW share our desire for students to be back in school, and that is our expectation,’ she said.
‘Schools will need to maintain the measures and precautions they have put in place for the foreseeable future, including no assemblies and excursions.
‘Teachers will be focused on identifying where their students are at in their education and we will be supporting them to recognise and assist those students who need additional help.’
It comes as Transport Minister Andrew Constance warned of indefinite Sydney traffic chaos as social distancing measures force people returning to on-site employment off public transport.
Ms Berejiklian said peak-hour bus and train services were already at capacity – with just 12 passengers per bus and 32 per train carriage permitted.
Ms Berejiklian and Mr Constance on Monday said workers would for the foreseeable future need to shift their schedules to off-peak bus and train transport, take alternative ferry and light rail routes or drive, drop off, cycle or walk.
Mr Constance said some 87 million vehicle movements were recorded around the state on Friday as people continued to work from home – down from an average 105 million.
The maximum number of daily public transport trips permitted amid social distancing guidelines, meanwhile, would be 600,000 per day – down from 2.2 million.
Ms Berejiklian said public transport commuters should try to travel between 10am and 2pm in order to save peak-hour space for essential workers and construction workers.
Socially-distanced seating on public transport would be marked out in ‘green dots’ in what Mr Constance characterised as a ‘nudge’ to keep people 1.5 metres apart.