A Liberal MP has used their maiden speech to pitch the idea of extending school hours to 6pm and folks are pissed.
Member for Ryde Jordan Lane — the same MP who called out TikTok, labelling it as “spyware”, and is now a content creator on it — has called for Parliament to be “more accommodating of modern employment” by extending schooling hours.
“Local schools should become hubs for after-school activity,” Lane said.
“By engaging providers and community organisations, we avoid overworking our tirelessly hardworking teachers but expose more children to rounded experiences, such as coding classes, culture and language, art, dance, music and sport.
“I care deeply about the academic results that our students are able to achieve, and about ensuring they can compete on a global stage, but I care even more that our education system helps us to create a new generation of Australians with the content of character we need to be successful as a country.”
Lane mentioned that this change could add an extra year of education, but it would result in “greater flexibility for parents, a productivity and employment boost to the state, financial relief from the high cost of child care and an injection of hope for potential but reluctant parents”.
It’s been ages since I’ve been at school, but extending those hours sounds like hell for me personally. During my years of high school, my mental health declined rapidly due to the pressure of succeeding and completing my high school certificate. I can’t imagine how I would cope if I were there until 6pm.
A lot of people who have heard Lane’s proposal have completely shut down the idea, with folks citing the mental health problems it could potentially bring to students. Others also mentioned that it feels like the extended hours would take away precious family time, which is 100 per cent valid.
No. I want more time with my children, not less. I wish I felt adequate enough to home school them. I don’t want teachers to raise them, they’re mine… I birthed them, they should be with me majority of the time.— Aussie Golden State Fan 💙💛 (@JayyySmiiith) June 2, 2023
School is not a babysitting service. Students are exhausted as it is from the rigorous curriculum in place. Children need time to decompress and just have fun. Teachers use afternoons, evenings and weekends for preparation and numerous admin tasks. Respect for teachers and kids— Julie Bernhardt (@julieb71_julie) June 2, 2023
Cant believe it needs to be said, but here we are nonetheless: make working hours accomodate school hours, not the other way round— Emeline Gaske (@emelinegaske) June 2, 2023
Many folks were also concerned for the well-being of teachers, despite the MP mentioning that the afterschool hours would involve “providers and community organisations”.
One user wrote under the 9News IG post: “When would teachers plan and program? After 6pm each night? Are we not entitled to family time also? Ridiculous suggestion.”
“How about reduce working hours instead of putting our kids and teachers through mental health illnesses,” another person wrote.
Although Lane said it wouldn’t involve teachers, I genuinely think they would still be asked to help in some capacity. For the last couple of years, teachers have vocalised their struggles with pay and staff shortages, so I think extending school hours should be the last thing we do.
Lane isn’t the first politician to propose a change in school hours. Last year, former NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet trialled extended operating hours in eight NSW schools.
Even though Lane said that extending school hours could fix parental flexibility and productivity, as well as provide financial relief, I think there are better solutions we can come up with before keeping the kiddos at school until 6pm.
Image: Supplied via 9News