As of Monday, all students across Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state have returned to their classrooms after nearly four months of online learning at home. The final stage of the return to the classroom saw more than 500,000 students from across years 2 to 11 from Monday, reports Xinhua news agency. “The majority of students returning today have not been in the classroom since the end of Term 2 and it is fantastic they are back where the best learning happens,” said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. While the state government has emphasized the move as an important step back to normalcy, they have also recognised the potential ongoing effects the extended period of lockdown and at-home learning may have had on children. Part of this recognition comes in the form of special considerations and support for Year 12 students preparing for their end-of-school exams, which are scheduled to begin from November 9. In addition to this, last Thursday, the state government announced A$250 ($190) “thank you” vouchers for parents of school age children, who have had to shoulder the extra burden of home-schooling during the state’s lockdown. “We all owe you, the mums and dads of this state, a great deal of gratitude,” said Perrottet.

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