BENDIGO TAFE students are continuing their practical education amid the tight COVID-19 restrictions.
While the Victorian government has closed all education institutions to limit the spread of coronavirus, more than 3000 Bendigo TAFE students are still getting hands-on experience through remote learning.
"Across Bendigo TAFE, we have moved very quickly to transition as many courses as possible to a digital or remote learning channel, with a focus on being teacher-facilitated and interactive," Bendigo TAFE chief executive Sally Curtain said.
"Working online when our courses are practical is challenging, but we are working hard to be as innovative and responsive as we can through various initiatives."
Bendigo TAFE's lead educator for Building and Construction Training, Mick Fry, has developed practical project packs to help his certificate two students continue their practical education.
The packs include simple hand tools to allow students to create different projects like wall frames and roofing.
"The certificate two program is based 80 per cent on practice and 20 per cent on theory," Mr Fry said. "It's a very hands-on program.
"We looked at the time frames and thought we wouldn't be able to get our students through if we didn't keep up the practical classes.
"We started with building small models and videoing that so we could pop it online for the students. We could discuss with them the theory and how it could work.
"The natural progression seemed to be the at-home packs so they could do the work without having to go out."
Mr Fry said many of his students were thriving under the new conditions.
"We haven't encountered any challenges with this cohort," he said. "This is a cohort of the digital age. The videos and web classes have been quite easy for them.
"For those who are under 18, we have liaised with their parents. They have loved that we have kept it going.
"As far as attendance goes, it is pretty much on par with what it was prior, if not better."
Mr Fry said many of his students were hoping to gain an apprenticeship out of their course.
"We have had 14 new apprentice carpenters signed up in April," he said. "While a lot of the world is in shutdown, the construction industry is really busy.
"They are always looking for an extra pair of hands and it has put quite a few of our students into jobs."
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