The NSW government is poised at capitalising on a $337 million scheme to help get school students back on track following their school study hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, primary and high school students had to switch to online learning.
As of 2021, students will receive tutoring from casual and retired teachers and university tutors.
The government will have over 5000 staff members to deliver small group teaching in NSW public schools, as well as private schools.
NSW students spent over two month learning virtually from home during the lockdown and did not return to school for many weeks after its school resumption.
The chief executive of Fams, the essential body for non-government organisations that works with disadvantaged children, said the education via the pandemic was “as bad as we feared”, with many students becoming disconnecting from teachers and neglecting education.
Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education, stated that casual, final year teaching students, retired teachers, university tutors will be part of the tuition stimulus.
“We know that learning for many students stagnated. This program is designed to have maximum impact on student outcomes, because small group tuition rapidly accelerates student learning,” said Mitchell.
Glenn Fahey, a research in education policy at the Centre for Independent Studies, assessed Australian NAPLAN analytics alongside the results of a study from the United States.
After more than two months of virtual learning in NSW, he evaluated that disadvantaged students in year five would lose an average of 1.1 weeks of literacy and 1.9 of numeracy, and students in year 9 would lose 1.6 of literacy and 2.3 of numeracy.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government is poised to ensure that students’ education continued to advance in 2021.
Along with the tuition scheme, the government is erecting new schools and helping schools in NSW rebuild following COVID-19.
“Today we announced the site for the new primary school at Edmondson Park- one of six new and upgraded schools being built as part of the $500 million education stimulus package,” tweeted Mitchell.
There will also be $31 million for non-government schools with the greatest levels of need to provide small group tuition.
Similarly, the NSW Government is extending free preschool for another year. This will offer families respite for the tough times they endured during the pandemic.