Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – 18 May 2020

TAFE International Western Australia is committed to ensuring that all of our students have access to the highest level of information, support and care during this time. Additional measures are in place to help manage COVID-19 in Australia.

On 4 April 2020, the Federal Government announced international students who have been in Australia for longer than 12 months and who find themselves in financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis, will be able to access their Australian superannuation. Read the Australian Government's announcement for more information.

The WA Government has released a COVID-19 roadmap to outline phased easing of restrictions.

WA's hospitality industry is being prepared for a return to business with the launch of a mandatory COVID-19 hygiene training program to protect the public and venue staff. The specialised COVID-19 hygiene training course will need to be successfully completed by every staff member employed at a hospitality venue - with businesses strictly only able to reopen when the requirements are met.  Staff will receive a certificate of completion, a badge and wallet card which contains prompters of the key learning outcomes from the course. View the media release

Information and advice on the COVID-19 coronavirus for the community and business in Western Australia is available on the wa.gov.au website.

What does this mean for TAFE staff, students and visitors?
From Term 2 2020, the blended style of delivery includes learning via online and interactive technologies, and face-to-face delivery where necessary and where adequate physical distancing measures can be implemented. This style of delivery is the most appropriate for vocational education and training (VET). Further information is available from your TAFE college. Read the media statement from Western Australia's Minister for Education and Training (28 March 2020).

For information regarding public schools, please visit the Department of Education COVID-19 webpage.

Information and assistance

Travel

  • International travel: Australia's borders are closed to everyone except for Australian residents, citizens and their family members — effective from 6.00pm AWST from Friday, 20 March 2020. Anyone arriving in Australia from overseas will be required to self-isolate for 14 days;
  • Western Australia border restrictions: Western Australia has implemented strict border controls for all access points - by road, rail, air and sea. Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Intrastate border restrictions: From 18 May 2020, travel restrictions between some WA regions have been relaxed as part of Phase 2 in the COVID-19 WA roadmap - find out more.

What does 'isolation' involve?

Physical distancing
Physical distancing is integral to help limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading throughout the community. Physical distancing includes:

  • As of 18 May 2020, public gatherings allow a maximum of 20people for some activities. View the WA Government's list of gathering restrictions.

  • minimise all unnecessary contact with others

  • keep 1.5 metres away from others

  • avoid physical greetings such as handshakes, hugs and kisses

  • use tap and pay instead of cash.

This replaces all other measures regarding social gatherings. View the Australian Government advice for social distancing.

Minimising personal risk

The risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in Australia remains low, however the situation is evolving. Western Australians should remain alert, but not be alarmed.

  • Follow good hygiene practices such as washing your hands with soap, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact (maintain a distance of at least one metre) with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms and/or are concerned that you may have been in contact with some who has, or if you become unwell and think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus, seek medical attention. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has or may have Coronavirus.

Training sector pandemic incident response to COVID-19

The Department of Training and Workforce Development Executive and TAFE Managing Directors are working together to manage our Pandemic Incident Response Plan, with a key focus on minimising risk to students and staff. It's important that we take precautions wherever possible to control the spread of the virus.

We continue to liaise closely with lead agencies in Western Australia, including the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and Department of Health, to ensure our approach is consistent with current information and advice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions provide general advice and information for students, staff, parents/carers and all other visitors to TAFE campuses and Department of Training and Workforce Development workplaces.

Changes to operations at WA TAFE colleges from Monday 30 March 2020

Is TAFE open?
TAFE colleges remain open. Essential services including student resource areas will be available for those that need access to PCs if they don't have access at home. Physical distancing and increased cleaning of these areas is in place. Some high priority courses, such as training in essential services, will continue. Your lecturer will give you specific information about arrangements for your course. On-line courses will also continue. Other support services on campus will still be available.

When will I find out what is happening in relation to my course?
There are a number of ways you will find out. Your college will email or send a text to you this weekend. Your lecturers will give you further specific information about arrangements for your course. If students attend class on Monday lecturers will advise them of the new arrangements.

Will I be disadvantaged or be required to pay more?
Students will be assisted to complete their course without extra cost

How will I continue my practical training and job placements?
Options are being looked at such as rescheduling and restructuring courses, and simulated practical training where work placements are unavailable.

How can I access a PC to continue my training if I don't have one at home or I have internet access problems?
Student learning centres will still be open with suitable social distance arrangements. Additional cleaning is occurring in these spaces.

My school student is enrolled for some courses at TAFE, should they attend classes next week?
If you are choosing to have your child stay at home, arrangements will be in place to ensure catch up training is provided. If your child is attending school, the TAFE will work with the school to make suitable arrangements.

Which courses will remain face-to-face?
All courses are expected to move in some way to a blended delivery which means that there will be a mix of online, interactive distant learning, and for some courses necessary face-to-face components. The best way to deliver the course will be assessed by lecturers in the period available up until the start of Term 2.

How are TAFEs preventing the spread of COVID19 in courses that continue face to face delivery?
Hygiene practices and physical distancing is being practiced in accordance with the most current Health advice. Lecturers are advising students to practice physical distancing measures, and are applying and monitoring physical distancing during classes.

How will online learning work?
Your lecturer will advise you how your blended learning programme will be delivered.

What if students don't have access to internet or internet access is minimal?
For those students with digital access problems, there will be access to some digital facilities at campuses to continue learning.

Will any student who is unable to access an online delivery method be disadvantaged or penalised?
No student will be penalised and TAFEs will work with students to identify solutions for their specific circumstance.

Will a student who is unable to attend face-to-face delivery classes for COVID19 reasons be penalised?
No student will be penalised and TAFEs will work with students to identify solutions for their specific circumstance.

What support services exist for students?
While training delivery is paused, the colleges remain open should students have any queries about their future studies.

How are we supporting lecturers and staff to deliver online?
The pause in training delivery is to enable lecturers to reframe courses to maximise distant learning to reduce virus transmission risk. Where it is not already in place, a blended delivery of training via online and other interactive modes will be introduced. Face to face delivery will still continue where necessary where adequate physical distancing measures can be implemented. TAFEs will work with students that have particular problems with new modes of delivery.

Cleaning arrangement for TAFE colleges?
TAFEs have increased cleaning across all campuses.

How are we assisting International Students?
As always, TAFE International is available to provide personal assistance to students who are unsure about any issue. Assistance is available by phone on 9218 2100 and by email at admissions.tiwa@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Students in financial difficulties or needing to return home should also make contact with TAFE International.

Why are TAFE libraries remaining open when the PM ordered all libraries to be shut?
TAFE libraries will only be accessible to TAFE students and staff. They remain open to ensure PCs continue to be available for students who don't have access to equipment or have poor connectivity. TAFEs have increased cleaning across all campuses and social distancing requirements are in place.

General questions

What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a type of virus that can affect humans and animals. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses similar to the common cold and others cause more serious illnesses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The current coronavirus originating in Hubei Province, China, is called 'novel' because it is new and had not been detected before this outbreak. 

What does self-isolate involve?
Please refer to the Australian Government Department of Health's guidelines for more information.

How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?
The risk of COVID-19 transmission in Australia remains low, however, the situation is evolving. To minimise your risk:

  • follow good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands with soap and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing; and
  • avoid close contact (maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres) with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.

For students

Can I attend classes if I don't need to self-isolate?
If you are unwell you should not attend class, even if you haven't had contact with a person who may have Coronavirus.  It is important that you stay home and only return to class when you are well again.

Will I miss out on my studies or fail my course if I have to self-isolate, or if I get sick?
If you are required to self-isolate, or become ill with Coronavirus, you can arrange other ways to continue your TAFE studies. Please make phone or email contact with your trainer/lecturer, or contact your TAFE college directly if you would like more information about available options.

I am very stressed and worried about the Coronavirus. Can someone help?
It's reasonable to be concerned about the Coronavirus, but try to remember that experts here in Australia and all around the world are working hard to keep people as well as possible.

You should also feel assured that your TAFE college is taking all necessary steps to minimise the risk for their students.

The Beyond Blue website has some useful tips and information that may help with your concerns.

Your lecturer/trainer may be able to help, or you could also phone the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for free advice.

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