Tens of thousands of Year 11 and 12 students in Victoria, the second most populous state in Australia, returned to school today for the General Achievement Test (GAT). The premature and dangerous return to onsite learning, imposed by the Andrews state Labor government after months of remote learning, occurs in the midst of the highest infection rate of any Australian state or territory since the pandemic began. The record 1,763 infections today is an increase of more than 400 in the last 24 hours.
The return of senior students and teachers will be followed by a staggered return of all other students in the next few weeks. A similar timetable is underway in New South Wales (NSW) despite continuous infections forcing the closure of more than 200 schools in recent months. The unsafe and dangerous reopenings have been endorsed by the New South Teachers’ Federation (NSWTF) and the Victorian branch of the Australia Education Union (AEU) who have been complicit with every government diktat.
Opposition among teachers, students and parents continues to grow, with reports today in the Melbourne-based Age newspaper of senior students refusing to return to unsafe classrooms and government policy being ignored by some schools, which are offering students online learning.
In this video, CFPE members speak out against the Victorian Labor and NSW Liberal-National goverments’ pro-business agenda of “living with the virus,” including the reopening of schools, which puts the lives of students, educators, parents and the community as a whole at serious risk.
The video calls on educators to begin taking matters into their own hands by building rank-and-file safety committees to fight for a policy of eradication.
The CFPE will post a full statement on the World Socialist Web Site tomorrow.