Most kids at school

Sunday Territorian - - FRONT PAGE - MADURA MCCOR­MACK

TWO thirds of all North­ern Ter­ri­tory kids at­tended school in the first week of term 2, as the NT re­mained the only ju­ris­dic­tion in Aus­tralia to re­turn to the phys­i­cal class­room amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Pre­lim­i­nary NT Govern­ment data, seen by the Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian, re­vealed 20,550 stu­dents, or about 61.5 per cent of to­tal en­rol­ments at­tended school on the first day of term 2. The num­ber rose to 22,600, or about 67.6 per cent, by Thurs­day.

TWO-THIRDS of all NT stu­dents at­tended school in the first week of term two, as the Ter­ri­tory re­mained the only ju­ris­dic­tion in Aus­tralia to re­turn to the phys­i­cal class­room amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Pre­lim­i­nary NT Govern­ment data, seen by the Sun­day

Ter­ri­to­rian, re­vealed 20,550 stu­dents, or about 61.5 per cent of to­tal en­rol­ments, at­tended school on the first day of term two. The num­ber rose to 22,600, or about 67.6 per cent, by Thurs­day.

In com­par­i­son, av­er­age at­ten­dance in govern­ment schools in 2018-19 was about 76 per cent.

Staff at­ten­dance was 91.7 per cent, on par with nor­mal lev­els.

The NT Govern­ment has main­tained, based on Aus­tralian Health Pro­tec­tion Prin­ci­pal Com­mit­tee ad­vice, that schools are safe to stay open and if Ter­ri­tory stu­dents don’t at­tend a “please ex­plain” would be asked of their parents.

Chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer Bren­dan Mur­phy on Fri­day de­clared class­rooms posed no risk, prompt­ing Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son to urge the other states and ter­ri­to­ries to ur­gently re­open schools.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Selena Uibo said fam­i­lies con­tin­ued to have the choice to ed­u­cate their kids at home.

“That’s OK – we trust that parents and car­ers know what is best for their chil­dren,” she said.

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