GRADUATING FEARS: St Joseph’s School Student Leader Induction in February 2020.
GRADUATING FEARS: St Joseph’s School Student Leader Induction in February 2020.

COVID-19 creates uncertainty for graduating class of 2020

IT'S not the senior year students from St Joseph's School were expecting.

Formal cancelled, classes moved online and learning from home isn't how St Joseph's school captain Bridgette Kay wanted to spend her final year of schooling.

On top of what is an already stressful year, Bridgette said the recent adjustments to her learning wasn't helping.

"It's stressful because it's uncertain. We don't know when we are going back and we have missed out on a lot," she said.

"Fingers crossed everyone complies with all of the rules so we can get this over and done with and get on with our year."

James Humble, who shares the school captaincy with Bridgette, said he saw this situation as an opportunity for students to step up and show some responsibility.

"At the end of the day, it's the students' responsibility to make sure they understand everything they are learning," he said.

The school has moved all senior students to online learning, with both captains confident they can still achieve the same results academically.

"It puts more responsibility on the students but they can still achieve the same result," James said.

"Depending how long we are online will be the real test but it is looking like it will work for us," Bridgette said.

Principal Andrew Kendall said schools across Queensland were working with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority to ensure all Year 12 students were still eligible to graduate at the end of the year.

"Everyone agrees that the health and wellbeing of students and their families and teachers is our top priority.

"Teaching, learning and assessment are important but secondary concerns and we don't want them to unnecessarily contribute to the emotional strain experienced by senior students and their families."

As a result, Mr Kendall said the QCAA had removed one internal assessment from the total of four prescribed in each syllabus.

"This will provide some relief for students as they contend with uncertainty and disruption while working towards their Queensland Certificate of Education in 2020.

"It will also support teachers to manage reduced classroom time."

The Department of Education Queensland said it would do everything it could to protect the health and wellbeing of students during this time.

"Where exams were scheduled for next week for Years 11 and 12 students, schools can delay or postpone.

"Schools are also working with the QCAA to minimise any disadvantage or impact to students working towards their Queensland Certificate of Education in 2020.

"Our schools will continue to work with all students and key stakeholders, including the QCAA, to ensure the way forward is fair and equitable for all Queensland senior students."

In yet another blow to the graduating class of 2020, the advice James gives to students across Queensland is to continue doing the best they can and work through the situation one day at a time.

"Look at it with a positive attitude, you can fall back on your friends and everyone can help each other.

"As long as students are doing the best they can to learn, then they'll get through it."

Stanthorpe State High School declined to comment