New COVID challenges an everyday reality for remote families

New COVID challenges an everyday thing for remote families, Isolated Children's Parent's Association says

News
OPPORTUNITY: With parents everywhere facing the challenge of educating kids via distance, ICPA hopes to use the national spotlight to make permanent changes.

OPPORTUNITY: With parents everywhere facing the challenge of educating kids via distance, ICPA hopes to use the national spotlight to make permanent changes.

Aa

With parents everywhere discovering the challenge of educating kids via distance, the Isolated Children's Parents' Association hopes to use the national spotlight to make permanent changes.

Aa

MANY of the pandemic-induced education challenges families across the nation are discovering for the first time are the same issues rural and remote families face every day.

The Isolated Children's Parent's Association (ICPA) will hold its two-day annual general meeting this week, to vote on what priorities the organisation should focus.

ICPA president Alana Moller said there was a national spotlight on the issues and challenges caused by isolation situations, which are becoming commonplace during the pandemic.

"Those things that have arose during the pandemic are things we're dealing with all the time," Ms Moller said.

"We're not making light of the situation, but we do feel like there is an opportunity to build on what has been put in place and extend that for students that need it all the time."

Issues with distance education, home schooling, telehealth and internet access have all come to the forefront for parents across the nation, and the government has responded with various relief measures.

"Those are things our families need all the time," Ms Moller said.

"The needs of geographically-isolated students are ongoing, not just during COVID."

While the government has tried to address the barriers parents and students face in isolation, Ms Moller said many of the things put in place for the pandemic "have not necessary worked" for rural and remote families.

"They're quite a uniquely disadvantaged group that needs to be consider with any package or support," she said.

The conference was due to be held in Hobart. But rather than cancelling the event, it was moved to a digital platform.

"What we aspire to do is still allow members put their thoughts and ideas forward," Ms Moller said.

"Being isolated shouldn't mean you're alone. We're still here to support and advocate as best we can."

Ms Moller said one silver lining from digital gathering was a number of organisations and politicians, who wouldn't normally be able to attend, had promised to tune in for a few hours.

Other common themes among the 33 motions are improving telecommunication access and providing relief for the additional costs of home schooling.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by