Australia

Struggling year 12s claim ‘huge win’

Victorian year 12s who will now be “individually assessed” for their VCE scores and ATAR rankings say the new changes are a “huge win” for the class of 2020. Eltham High School student Tom McGinty said the compassionate approach gave him confidence he could secure a spot at university next year.“I’m really stoked on the…

Victorian year 12s who will now be “individually assessed” for their VCE scores and ATAR rankings say the new changes are a “huge win” for the class of 2020.

Eltham High School student Tom McGinty said the compassionate approach gave him confidence he could secure a spot at university next year.

“I’m really stoked on the changes that have been implemented, As someone who has struggled with online learning this change brings me hope that I can actually obtain my desired ATAR score and get into my preferred course for next year,” he said.

Year 12 student Nathan Gunn petitioned to cancel VCE exams, saying he and his classmates had been burdened with the effects of COVID-19 and remote learning.

He launched the petition – which generated more than 4300 signatures – just days before Deputy Premier James Merlino announced every single VCE student would be individually assessed, with adverse impacts from COVID-19 reflected in their ATAR ranking.

“It’s a relief to know the Government has devised a new system of special consideration with the mental health of young people as a top priority,” the 18-year-old said.

“This new system is the first of its kind, which was crucial for all Victorian year 12s who are living and studying during a pandemic like none of us have ever seen.”

Nathan said remote learning had thrown the whole year into disarray.

“We need physical interaction, we need to be there in the classroom asking questions,” he said.

Under the “extraordinary changes”, the Government will consider school closures and long absences as contributing factors to VCE students’ difficult year.

“We’ll look at things, for example, such as significant increase in family responsibilities as a result of COVID-19, and we’ll of course consider the mental health and wellbeing of students during this period,” Mr Merlino said.

“This year is like no other, it is an unprecedented year, and we need to support our students in an unprecedented way.”

Mr Merlino said the changes would help students go into their VCE exams, which start in early November, with confidence “knowing they will not be disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19”.

“This is a way that we can give every student and every parent of a VCE student the comfort and the confidence that their student will receive their final scores that take into account their individual circumstances. It puts them on a level playing field with every student across the state,” he said.

anthony.piovesan@news.com.au

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