Sunday Herald Sun - - News - ASH­LEY ARGOON

VCE will go on­line from next year un­der a rad­i­cal $22 mil­lion pro­gram, giv­ing ru­ral and re­gional stu­dents the free­dom to study what­ever sub­ject they wish, de­spite where they live.

Re­mote stu­dents will be able to en­rol in any sub­ject, taught to class­mates across mul­ti­ple schools by a dis­tant teacher through video con­fer­enc­ing, in­stant mes­sag­ing, chat rooms and vir­tual white­boards.

The $22.6 mil­lion VCE on­line pro­gram, to be launched by the Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment to­day, will be­gin from first term next year and be rolled out for ev­ery sub­ject by 2021.

Bendigo Se­nior Sec­ondary Col­lege stu­dent Mitchell Cham­ber­lin said it will be “life chang­ing” for ru­ral stu­dents forced to move from home or travel long dis­tances for school.

“We have had peo­ple come as far as Swan Hill to our school, Heath­cote and Echuca,” the 17-year-old said.

“It will open doors for fu­tures that pre­vi­ously weren’t open.”

Bendigo Se­nior Sec­ondary has been teach­ing nearby VCE stu­dents from 45 smaller schools through vir­tual learn­ing for nearly a decade.

Prin­ci­pal Dale Pearce said it was of­ten the spe­cial­ist maths, sci­ences and hu­man­i­ties sub­jects stu­dents at smaller schools missed out on.

“Their prospects for uni­ver­sity and their ca­reer choices were cer­tainly com­pro­mised be­cause they couldn’t study some sub­jects they want to in their own schools,” Mr Pearce said.

“Some of these stu­dents don’t even know phi­los­o­phy is a VCE sub­ject.”

He said the on­line roll­out “may en­cour­age some fam­i­lies to keep their kids in their homes rather than send­ing them to other towns”.

Stu­dents who en­rol in a new VCE on­line sub­ject will com­plete a course to pre­pare them for vir­tual learn­ing.

The fund­ing will also cover de­sign and de­liv­ery of the sub­jects and grants to sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tion and share re­sources be­tween 100 schools. ash­ley.argoon@news.com.au FAILED EX­AMS NO BAR­RIER, PAGE 19 A FLORIDA “fan” of Don­ald Trump was ar­rested and charged yes­ter­day with mail­ing 13 bombs to op­po­nents of the US pres­i­dent in a brazen, week­long spree that in­flamed the coun­try ahead of key elec­tions.

Ce­sar Sayoc, 56, a reg­is­tered Repub­li­can with a crim­i­nal past, born in New York and who lived in a van cov­ered in pro-Trump and anti-lib­eral stick­ers, was ar­rested out­side a strip mall in Florida.

Mr Sayoc is charged with five fed­eral crimes, in­clud­ing mail­ing of ex­plo­sives and threats against for­mer pres­i­dents, At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions an­nounced.

If put on trial and con­victed, he faces up to 48 years in prison in what politi­cians on both sides of the aisle have con­demned as do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism.

The 13 bombs were sent through the mail and Mr Sayoc was tracked down based on finger­print and pos­si­ble DNA ev­i­dence. Mr Sayoc is ac­cused of mail­ing ex­plo­sives to 11 prom­i­nent Democrats or lib­eral crit­ics of the pres­i­dent, in­clud­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama, Hil­lary Clin­ton, ex-vice pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den, and Hol­ly­wood star Robert De Niro.

All the tar­gets are loathed by Mr Trump’s sup­port­ers for their op­po­si­tion to the US pres­i­dent.

Bendigo Se­nior Sec­ondary Col­lege stu­dents Ryan Lucas, Mitchell Co­hen, Mitchell Cham­ber­lin and Ash­lea Lind­sey.

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