This feature article will explore the graduating class of Corona 2020. Seniors are simultaneously battling an academically stressful period with a universally stressful experience of living in a pandemic. They have been robbed from the many milestones and celebrations experienced by those before them and face a very scary unknown in the face of changing state regulations and contradicting messages.
More than 180,000 students are set to sit their final exams in 2020, including 68,000 in NSW. Despite the disruptions to classrooms the NSW education department has declared HSC exams will go ahead. State restrictions in NSW vary as Private schools are able to make their own decisions on students returning to school with many planning full time face-to-face learning from Mid-May. Public schools on the other hand must follow the government’s staged return model meaning that HSC students will have 12 days of face to face teaching in term two, whereas private schools will have 40. The international Baccalaureate offered as an alternative high school diploma in NSW has decided to cancel its May exams and are reviewing if the Australian November exam session will take place.
This story is newsworthy as it explores the fragility and disruption the global pandemic has had on our state education system and its long-lasting ripple effect onto teachers, parents and whole communities. This story also brings attention to the already existing disadvantages amongst students such as unstable family situations or limited internet accessibility and explores how the current crisis has exacerbated such issues.
COVID-19 has turned everyone’s life upside down but for Year 12 students preparing for the most important year of their education, it’s sending stress levels off the charts.#TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/wWrzhp0n8X
— The Project (@theprojecttv) April 1, 2020
Audience and publication
The chosen publication for this story is Sydney Morning Herald. According to their media toolkit, Sydney Morning Herald boasts a viewership of 7.6 million people, predominately in the target Sydney region. Furthermore, its two main target audience groups are aged 30-44 and 45-64 which are likely to have year 12 students and therefore would be interested in this article.
- Hyperlinks with new tabs to reference individuals/information mentioned in the story
- Photos of students at home study set up
- HSC forum comments
To write this story I will conduct multiple interviews and utilise multiple sources. Firstly I intend to interview a year 12 student who attends school in NSW and is currently facing the HSC. This interview will highlight generally how students are adapting and their desired outcome. I will also interview a teacher in the public-school system for insight into if they agree with the current NSW policies in regards to contact hours for public and private education. Lastly, I will interview academic professionals such as Sydney University Associate Professor Jennifer Rowley who is a Professor in Music education but specialises in areas of gifted education and adolescent development. My interest in Professor Rowley stems from the fact that she has already written at length of the implications that Covid-19 will have on the graduating class of 2020. Therefore, Rowley already has a clear interest in this topic and strong opinions to offer this article. Failing this, alternative mental health experts at Sydney University such as Associate Professor Atkinson who specialises in Youth mental health.