Children in Australia’s most populated state will return to school full-time next week, a major step towards normalizing life amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The directive from New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian to reopen schools full-time lifts childcare responsibilities for the parents and carers of around 800,000 children in public schools as Australia seeks to stem a surge in unemployment and restart the economy.
Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the decision “caused a lot of concern, frustration and anger among teachers and principals.” According to Berejiklian, individual, temporary closures are likely to contain future outbreaks. In neighboring Victoria, the second-most populous state, full-time lessons for all pupils are not due to resume until early next month.
Australia on Tuesday recorded its 100th fatality from the disease. The rate of new daily infections peaked on March 23 with 430 cases, Reuters said. New cases have averaged about 15 a day over the past week.