From the Acting Principal
7 May 2020, 1:29PMBack to all news
7 May 2020, 1:29PMBack to all news
Thank you, parents and guardians, for your ongoing partnership during these uncertain times. Our College community has been affected in many ways by COVID-19.
This week, I would like to clarify our understanding in the current situation, and to emphasise some key elements of our system-wide response to the COVID-19 crisis.
As our north western schools and colleges re-opened this week, I would like to share some reflections with you. These are prompted by a recent letter written on behalf of Australian Catholic Education to Dan Tehan, Federal Education Minister, by Jacinta Collins, Executive Director of the National Catholic Education Commission.
In the letter, Jacinta Collins explains that Catholic Schools, and our own Tasmanian schools have been, and remain, open to any student enrolled since the first days of the pandemic.
“I am pleased to confirm that Catholic schools are open for Term 2. Our schools have remained open throughout the pandemic for students who need to attend and have provided remote learning for other students.”
Ms Collins goes on to express the view, endorsed by Catholic educational jurisdictions across Australia, that subject to health advice, we anticipate a full return of our schools and colleges as soon as possible. Ms Collins assured the Minister of our unwavering commitment to return to ‘normal’ schooling as soon as it is safe to do so.
“Catholic Education’s proposed approach accords with our unwavering commitment to return to ‘normal’ schooling as soon as it is safe to do so. We agree with the National Cabinet that education is best delivered by professional teachers to students in the classroom on a school campus.”
We have learnt many salient lessons from our recent experience of providing Learning@Home. Many of us anticipate that the “face” of in-school learning may well have changed. Moreover, we remain confident that the best of proven, evidence-based pedagogy will continue to grow and flourish in every learning space, laboratory, sports place, workshop, field site, studio and classroom of our schools and colleges.
The letter goes onto remind Mr Tehan that Catholic educational leaders in each state have been united in their support and collaboration with federal and local governments throughout this period of crisis, and have worked closely with sector colleagues.
Catholic Education has been planning for a return to classroom learning since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. National, State and Territory Catholic Education (NCEC) bodies have met regularly to discuss the impacts of the pandemic and the advice of Federal, State and Territory Governments, including through our Operations Standing Committee.
In the Tasmanian setting, CET senior leadership have been meeting every couple of days with the Education Minister, the Hon. Jeremy Rockliff, MP, along with sector colleague leaders from Department of Education, Independent Schools Tasmania, and regulators such as the Office of the Education Registrar and other statutory bodies. From what I am told, this collaboration has been honest, respectful and fruitful.
The NCEC is well-aware of the need for vigilant hygiene practices, even with the official rescinding of social distancing requirements for students. Implementing additional hygiene measures will carry significant costs for all schools.
Catholic Education also remains dedicated to helping families struggling with financial hardship to keep their children in school. Catholic schools provide direct support to families who are experiencing a range of hardship, usually in the form of fee relief.
As we navigate these difficult times together, no doubt we have learnt a great deal about ourselves and each other in the process. When we have truly “flattened the curve” of infection, let it bring about more in us: a massive upward curve of creativity, innovation, collaboration, new learning opportunities, community resilience and faith.
I will leave you with the following during this time:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me (John 14:1)
Jesus, help me trust that you are with me always. Lord, come and calm all my fears.
With continued diligence, I am filled with hope that the worst is now behind us.
Vale Mr Ron Chequer
The Marist Regional College community is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of our colleague, Mr Ron Chequer. Ron was gentle, kind, generous and a thoroughly professional educator. Ron was a good friend to many. He will be sorely missed by the staff and students of our College. We extend our heartfelt sympathy and support to Ron’s family, his friends and the many community groups where his active involvement made positive contributions.
May Ron’s soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.