House debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Education

2:55 pm

Photo of Julian LeeserJulian Leeser (Berowra, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is for the Minister for Education. Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government recognises and thanks the remarkable efforts of Australia's childcare workers and teachers in helping our nation get through 2020? Will the minister also outline to the House the incredible resilience shown by our students and, in particular, our year 12 students, in making it through this year?

2:56 pm

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question and also for his dedication to the schools, the childcare centres in his electorate and his passion for education.

This year has been a year like no other for those in the childcare sector. At the heart of the pandemic, those early childhood educators were called on to provide care for those essential workers' children, for those vulnerable children, and they fronted up day after day to make sure that that care could be provided. There was a lot of uncertainty. There was a lot of fear about what was happening with the coronavirus, what was happening through the pandemic. Yet those early childhood workers, those educators, turned up and made sure that those children were cared for and looked after. On behalf of every member of this House, I say thank you to those early childhood educators for that work.

When it comes to our schools, we also need to thank our principals and our teachers for the work they've done this year. I recognise the member for Gilmore—the pair of us went down to her electorate to a school in Broulee, which had been impacted by fires, and that's often forgotten now. Darren McPartland was there making sure that he provided protections to those children who'd been impacted by the fires. I thank the member for Gilmore for inviting me to her electorate. Something that I will never forget is the session we had with those students who'd been impacted by those fires.

And of course there was the coronavirus. I say to all the state and territory education ministers: thank you for coming together and making sure that we could provide that certainty for year 12 students when it came to their ATARs. Incredibly important decisions were made—

Ms Plibersek interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Sydney is warned!

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

to give that certainty to them. The way we were able to come together as education ministers right across the nation to do that was incredibly important.

I say to those year 12 students, who have been through a year like no other, who had all their dreams of what their year would look like turned upside down: the resilience that you have shown, your commitment to continue to work through this and make sure that you got through this year was second to none. Although schoolies and the end of the year mightn't have been the same, what you've done is quite extraordinary and will stand you in good stead. I say to all those year 12 students—and I'm sure I say this on behalf of all the House: very good luck with your results at the end of this year because you deserve—(Time expired)