Parents Victoria and Gender Equity Victoria are calling for Victorian parents to be supported with a one-off home school allowance to offset the additional costs associated with educating kids in isolation during Term 2.
‘’This week, families across Victoria are supporting a transformative educational experience – the launching of statewide digital classrooms. We know that women are likely to shoulder the major burden of providing the care, educational support and supervision necessary to making learning from home a success” said Tanja Kovac, CEO of Gender Equity Victoria, ‘The medical, social and economic disaster of Covid19 is impacting on women in ways that exacerbate gender inequities.”
‘While Victorian families should be congratulated for embracing school at home during Term 2, there needs to be some recognition of the financial burden on parents through the provision of a home school allowance. This should be available to families setting up classrooms at home,” said Gail McHardy, Executive Officer of Parents Victoria.
Parents Victoria and Gender Equity Victoria welcome the State Government’s provision of laptops and other devices, as well as internet dongles, to disadvantaged families, but notes that the costs associated with home schooling are impacting all families. These costs include:
- Establishing home work spaces with privacy, good light and ventilation
- Boosting internet connectivity by purchasing data, extra data & wifi boosters
- Cost of purchase of educational apps, digital textbooks and other online educational resources.
- Supervision and support of students across multiple school sites, digital platforms and timetables.
- Maintaining connectivity with school during increased periods of communication, supervision and monitoring.
Additional costs are occurring while people are losing employment and facing economic and social hardship.
The call for a one off education allowance is part of a joint statement on Gender Equity and Covid19 which includes Ten Things Government’s Can Do Now. The joint statement has been endorsed by over 80 organisations.
Tanja Kovac; CEO, Gender Equity Victoria; Mob 0419 910 577; email@example.com
Gail McHardy, Executive Officer, Parents Victoria; Mob 0413 589 627; firstname.lastname@example.org
Media release is available in PDF here.
- 80 gender equity and women’s organisations have have united on Covid19 disaster with a joint statement to the Victorian and Federal Government. The statement is accompanied by 10 Things Government Can Do Now to address the impacts of COVID-19 on wmen and gender diverse people:
- Fund Gender and Disaster Workers
- Protect obstetric, gynaecological, sexual and reproductive health services from Covid19 contamination
- Boost family violence prevention and response activities to cope with an increased demand for support in the community
- Ensure all Covid19 Updates & communications and data gathering applies a gender lens
- Provide a wage subsidy to all workers in hard hit industries.
- Provide recognition and support to carers & educators at home.
- Women essential service workers need urgent Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and recognition of the risky work they are performing.
- All essential workers should also have childcare funded by the Commonwealth for the duration of the pandemic.
- Commence gender-based planning for post-pandemic reboot of the Victorian economy. Create a Pandemic Stand Down Taskforce to prioritise investment in services & infrastructure required to ensure Victoria gets back on its feet swiftly. All decision-making regarding pandemic response and recovery should be gender equal.
- Get gender equality investment Back on Track. Ensure that all rebuild efforts and investment apply a gender lens so that women and men benefit equally from the long journey towards recovery.
For a full list of organisations endorsing the statement and 10 actions see https://www.genvic.org.au/focus-areas/advocacy/gen-vic-campaigns/gender-equity-womens-organisations-unite-on-covid19-disaster/