Term three looked a little more promising for the class of 2020 as year 12’s were able to sit back in their classrooms with their teachers.

Unfortunately this was short lived as Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced stage four restrictions and with that, Victorian students returned to remote learning from 11:59 pm on Tuesday 4 August.

For many like year 12 student Yiana Tamvakis, the biggest hurdle is staying on track.

“I was faced with many challenges such as trying to stay organised, being motivated and keeping a positive mindset throughout the journey. It was very different from school as there weren’t teachers around me or a bell to remind me I had class…it was hard to stay focused at times because I was not in a proper class setting,” she told Neos Kosmos. 

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Ms Tamvakis had imagined a very different conclusion to her 13 years of school as she had watched her four older siblings have a far more traditional experience.

“Being my last year of schooling it was hard to face the fact that so many opportunities would be taken away from me. Having four older siblings they all told me ‘year 12 will be a memorable year’, and reminded me of their most enjoyable memories which made me excited to experience my own. However being unsure whether these events in my final year will happen or not is sad to accept,” Ms Tamvakis said.

Yiana Tamvakis looks forward to celebrating with her family and friends at the end of the year Photo: Supplied

VCE students have also been worried about what impact these disruptions will have on their final ATAR scores.

Rumours around schools have been flying around about possible exam changes and even getting rid of the ATAR all together.

Rumours aside, one of the biggest head spinners was the back and forth changes of final exam dates.

Initially the State Government had made plans for exams to begin in December, giving students an extra month to prepare from their original October dates, before re-announcing in May that students will sit exams from 9 November and finish in the first week of December.

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“That stuffed everything up because they pushed SACS back. We spent longer on unit three and then moving exams back to November, we’ve lost an extra month, so now we’re scrambling to get this unit four content done. Our teachers are freaking out and they told us we’re not going to get through all the content this term so we’re going to have to do extra sessions over the holidays to get the content done from term three,” explained year 12 student Demi Kromidellis.

Ms Kromidellis has also found staying motivated difficult during this time, but felt “better prepared” getting back to remote learning for the second time around.

However, the news still stung.

“When we were allowed to go back we were excited to see friends and teachers and the motivation was there. When the news hit for the second lock down, I’d never seen a school more depressed than what I saw on Monday. It was so sad,” she said.

Demi Kromidellis is very grateful for the extra hours her teachers put in helping her out Photo: Supplied

Victorian education minister James Merlino wants to ensure students and teachers that he is well aware of their concerns.

“I am mindful of how disruptive this year has been for our VCE and VCAL students and we are doing all we can to support them,” he said.

While nothing is set in stone just yet, Mr Merlino is working with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to alleviate some of the anxiety around final results.

“When we have experienced previous events that have had a serious impact on senior secondary students, such as the Black Saturday bushfires, VCAA have put in place measures to ensure fair, valid and reliable results…The VCAA is currently examining how we can do something similar in light of the coronavirus pandemic and I will have more to say in coming days,” Mr Merlino said.

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