Australia news live: schools closed as Queensland rain and floods continue; Oxfam says


More than 20 schools closed amid Queensland floods

Fifteen state schools and 10 independent schools are closed across Queensland amid widespread rain and flooding overnight.

All of the following state schools are due to reopen when the severe weather has subsided, according to the state’s education department:

Aratula state school
Ashwell state school
Blenheim state school
Forest Hill state school
Grandchester state school
Jandowae prep-10 state school
Kogan state school
Moonie state school
Mount Alford state school
Mount Sylvia state school
Mount Whitestone state school
Tent Hill Lower state school
Thornton state school
Warra state school

Centenary state high school will reopen when a damage assessment and repairs are complete, the department says.

Meanwhile, the list of independent school closures can be viewed in full here.

Updated at 

Fifteen state schools and 10 independent schools are closed across Queensland amid widespread rain and flooding overnight.

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All of the following state schools are due to reopen when the severe weather has subsided, according to the state’s education department:

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• Aratula state school
• Ashwell state school
• Blenheim state school
• Forest Hill state school
• Grandchester state school
• Jandowae prep-10 state school
• Kogan state school
• Moonie state school
• Mount Alford state school
• Mount Sylvia state school
• Mount Whitestone state school
• Tent Hill Lower state school
• Thornton state school
• Warra state school

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Centenary state high school will reopen when a damage assessment and repairs are complete, the department says.

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Meanwhile, the list of independent school closures can be viewed in full here.

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Oxfam Australia, along with 19 other aid organisations, has called on donor nations to reinstate funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

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At the weekend, foreign minister Penny Wong announced Australia would pause its funding to UNRWA while an investigation is under way into several employees accused of taking part in Hamas’s 7 October attacks in Israel.

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Of the 12 employees who have been accused by Israel of taking part in the attacks, nine were immediately sacked, one was confirmed dead and two were still being identified.

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Australia is one of 10 donor countries that have withdrawn funding from the UN agency:

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In a joint statement, Oxfam said the aid cuts come amid a “rapidly worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza”, where the population is facing starvation, looming famine and the outbreak of disease while under bombardment.

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The statement reads:

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We urge donor states to reaffirm support for the vital work that UNRWA and its partners do to help Palestinians survive one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of our times. Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region.

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The education minister, Jason Clare, just spoke with ABC Breakfast about Australia’s teacher shortage. He labelled it a “crisis”:

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[There are] not enough young people going to university to want to become a teacher, [and] too many people leaving the profession. This is something that’s 10 years in the making. It will take us some time to fix, but it’s something we have to turn around here.

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Clare said that over the past 10 years, the rates of people studying teaching at uni has fallen by 12%. While Victoria has seen a 10% increase in offers, the rate of people who finish the degree is low:

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We’ve got 80,000 people at uni studying teaching, that’s good, but only 50% will actually finish the degree, and another 20% will quit in the first three years as a teacher.

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He pointed to the difficulty in doing unpaid prac, and said more support is needed for teachers in the early years of their career.

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Q: Are there more things you can do immediately to alleviate what is an unprecedented situation?

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Clare said bringing teachers from overseas is one element of this – with 2,000 visas granted – but also encouraging people to return to the profession:

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There’s 300,000 teachers in our schools right now but there’s another 100,000 teachers who are registered, [have] the qualifications, but have chosen to keep the registration but not teach. Part of [our plan] is encouraging them to come back as teachers or mentors for those teachers in their early years and provide them with the support they…



This article was originally published by a www.theguardian.com . Read the Original article here. .