ABC to offer curriculum-based education content for students from next term

ABC will expand its free education content to help students, teachers and parents who are at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, working with education departments in each state and territory to link the content to curriculums.

The decision follows a call from former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the public broadcaster to provide more support to Australians by providing teaching material across ABC Kids and ABC ME.

ABC managing director David Anderson said the national broadcaster was ready to launch the extra resources, in line with its Charter requirement to broadcast programs of an educational nature.

“With so many Australian children now studying at home or preparing to do so, the ABC is boosting its support for students, teachers and parents to help young Australians receive the education they need,” he said.

“Our expanded schedule will complement the many hours of education content already available on the ABC across multiple platforms and we will build on that programming as required. Australians trust and rely on the ABC and this is another way we can contribute to and support the community.”

From 14 April, to coincide with the beginning of the second school term, ABC ME will provide educational programming from 10am to 3pm each weekday. The expanded schedule moves from blocks of primary school content in the mornings through to secondary school content in the afternoons, featuring programs such as Behind The News (BTN), Ecomaths, ScienceXplosion, Numberblocks, Citizen Code and English on the Go.

In addition, more than 4,000 free videos will be offered online on ABC Education, along with interactive resources and games mapped to the Australian curriculum, across subjects such as English, maths, science, history, geography, media literacy, financial literacy and the arts and technologies, including STEM.

Working in partnership with the states and territories, ABC Education will also create original teacher-led mini-lessons, which will be broadcast on the ABC Education portal and ABC ME, to support students learning at home. The NSW and Victorian education departments have provided initial financial assistance to help produce this content.

Pre-schoolers will also be able to consume content on ABC Kids, ABC Kids Listen and the ABC Early Education website, which includes Reflective Journal blog posts for educators and shows and podcasts across the five curriculum areas of family, community and culture, sustainability and nature, creativity and self-expression, STEM, and health and wellbeing.

Special collections of learning content and family activities are also available on the newly enhanced ABC Kids app and ABC Kids Community Facebook page.

The ABC has also rolled out focused news content to keep Australians informed about COVID-19. Daily editions each weekday of the ABC’s Coronacast podcast are being released, breaking down the latest news and research about how the world is living through the pandemic. Recently, RMIT and ABC Fact Check launched a new Corona Check website and newsletter exposing fake news and misinformation that is spreading with the virus.

“Australians should be reassured that we are making every effort to continue to provide our trusted and valued services to audiences, wherever they are. We are conscious of the important role the ABC plays in our lives. And we are doing all we can to keep Australians informed, educated and entertained in these unprecedented times,” said Anderson.

“Contingency planning is well advanced and we are also adjusting our output to meet the rapidly changing needs and expectations of all Australians, covering everything from new box sets to binge on iview to recipes and activities for people staying indoors at home.”


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