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Election takes place in Australian classrooms | The standard

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The education of Australians is expected to be a key electoral issue as the sector recovers from several COVID-19 lockdowns, a huge loss of income and skills shortages. The government has been without a permanent education minister since December 2021 after Alan Tudge resigned from the front bench while an investigation was carried out into allegations of abuse. Mr Tudge denied any wrongdoing and Jobs Minister Stuart Robert took the portfolio as custodian. Labor says universities have been left behind by the government, especially as the market for international students has dried up during the pandemic. The Opposition is proposing a $1.2 billion investment in education that will provide additional college places and free TAFE classes. The free TAFE plan will focus on industries currently experiencing a critical skills gap, which Labor blames on continued underinvestment by Liberal governments. “There is an incredible opportunity here if we seize a made-in-Australia future, and Labor has a plan to get there,” said leader Anthony Albanese. “It’s part of our plan for a better future, making sure we do things here, we create jobs here, we give people the skills here with our free TAFE plan and our 20,000 extra university places plan. The coalition says it has made record investments in the skills sector, spending $13 billion during the pandemic alone. Robert said the government had offered 220,000 trades apprenticeships, the highest ever. “Work has presided over generational scars within our workforce, but due to the Morrison government’s record investment in Australia’s premier skills today, we are in fact providing generational skills,” he said. -he declares. The government also wants to fix unruly primary and secondary classrooms, promising $3.5 million to the national education research body. The funds will be used to develop materials to help teachers better engage their students and have focused, positive and supportive classroom environments. Mr Robert said the government recognizes Australian students have fallen in world rankings for literacy, science and maths. “As more than four million students have returned to face-to-face learning after two years of interrupted learning, school leaders are focusing on how to re-engage students in the classroom so that they can do their best,” he told The Age Schools Summit. in March. Improving the environment for students will improve outcomes as well as changes to national curricula, he said. A revised national scheme is due to be implemented by 2023. Labor also plans to give 30,000 families with school-age children who do not have access to a home internet connection, one year of broadband free. Schools, state education departments and local community organizations will identify and nominate up to 30,000 eligible families for the plan, which will be managed by NBN Co. Mr. Albanese said the lockdowns revealed the need for broadband broadband to enable students to learn remotely. “Some school children did not have internet access at home, and that made an already very difficult school year worse,” he said. Australian Associated Press


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