All VCE sub­jects avail­able

State’s ma­jor ex­pan­sion of­fers choice to all stu­dents

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

EV­ERY VCE sub­ject will be avail­able to ev­ery Vic­to­rian ru­ral and re­gional stu­dent as part of the State Govern­ment’s ma­jor ex­pan­sion of vir­tual learn­ing and a new col­lab­o­ra­tion fund to sup­port schools work­ing to­gether.

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion James Mer­lino yes­ter­day an­nounced a $22.6 mil­lion in­vest­ment to pro­vide stu­dents in ru­ral and re­gional ar­eas a greater choice of sub­jects, through new on­line and faceto-face learn­ing op­tions.

This in­cludes part­ner­ing with Dis­tance Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre Vic­to­ria, the Vic­to­rian Vir­tual Learn­ing Net­work and the Vic­to­rian School of Lan­guages to ex­pand and im­prove vir­tual learn­ing

Min­is­ter Mer­lino said that along with grants to sup­port and en­able col­lab­o­ra­tion be- tween schools, the ini­tia­tive will mean ev­ery stu­dent will be able to ac­cess ev­ery VCE sub­ject – re­gard­less of where they live or go to school.

“Teach­ers will be able to de­liver classes to stu­dents in mul­ti­ple schools at the same time us­ing tech­nolo­gies such as video con­fer­enc­ing, in­stant mes­sag­ing, chat rooms and vir­tual white­boards,” he said.

“Through this in­no­va­tive way of learn­ing, stu­dents can in­ter­act and con­nect in re­al­time with teach­ers and other stu­dents out­side of their school in th­ese vir­tual class­rooms.”

Min­is­ter Mer­lino said the de­liv­ery of new VCE vir­tual sub­jects will start from the first se­mes­ter next year, with all new sub­jects to be pro­gres­sively rolled out by the end of 2021.

“The fund­ing will be used for the de­sign and de­liv­ery of new sub­jects, re­sources to sup­port stu­dent learn­ing and to ex­plore whether VET VCE stud­ies could also be ex­panded vir­tu­ally,” he said.

A learn­ing course will also be de­signed to help pre­pare re­gional and ru­ral stu­dents for vir­tual learn­ing be­fore they en­rol in VCE on­line study.

“A new VCE Col­lab­o­ra­tion Fund will also cre­ate in­ter­school part­ner­ships be­tween re­gional schools so they can of­fer more for stu­dents.

“The fund will sup­port more than 100 schools to cre­ate shared teach­ing ar­range­ments and re­sources to in­crease the num­ber of VCE sub­jects avail­able in part­ner schools. Th­ese will be de­liv­ered col­lab­o­ra­tively, ei­ther face-to-face or vir­tu­ally.”

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