(prepared by Lilian and Bjorn Schmid)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
“Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.” (Proverbs 4:13)
COVID-19 Crisis in Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools, universities and colleges. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. According to UNICEF monitoring, 106 countries are currently implementing nationwide closures and 55 are implementing local closures, impacting about 98.6% of the world’s student population.
These are some of the consequences of school closures (please include in your prayers):
- Unintended strain on health-care system.
- Loss of jobs in the education field.
- Due to distance learning there is unequal access to technology.
- Unequal access to educational resources.
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s education.
- School closures negatively impact student learning outcomes.
- Schooling provides essential learning and when schools close, children and youth are deprived opportunities for growth and development.
- Inaccessibility to mitigation strategies.
- Impact on local economies.
“You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (Psalm 86:1)
“The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.” (Proverbs 10:14)
Lord, we lift up the education system across the world and ask you to stop the spread of this deadly plague ‘COVID-19’ across our nations, our livelihood. We trust you Lord, and we come humbly asking you to find a solution for this situation that is affecting health, education, economy, nations’ Government structures and finances.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
Challenges in Education
Pray for the below challenges (cited by the Global Partnership for Education – globalpartnership.org) as God leads you:
- Child labor
- Countries affected by fragility and conflict
- Domestic financing
- Early childhood care and education
- Economic development
- Education planning
- External financing
- Gender dilemma
- Global grants for the education in poor countries
- Learning and literacy
- Lower-secondary school completion
- Mother tongue
- Out-of-school children
- Peace and tolerance
- Primary school completion
- Secondary education
- People within Education:
- Admin officers in all Educational Departments
- Strategy Educators
- SRE Teachers in all public schools and private schools.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Lord, hear our honest cries for assistance from You in the sphere of Education. Evil is always trying to keep us under fear and despair through lies, half-truths and misinformation. But you Lord are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Please defeat the deceptions of the evil one by revealing the whole truth to all people through good education and teaching by example. Please enable resources and funding to be released to fund worthwhile and honest Education projects and programs that will help people to gain worthwhile knowledge and develop skills to improve their lives.
And Lord, we pray above all that You will be glorified in all by all; let no-one be deceived that You are not the provider of all these needs.
Let Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Education at Home
One significant action from the COVID-19 Pandemic is that many children are experiencing remote attendance of school at home. This type of education delivery is of course not new in Australia as many remote families have for generations attended school via radio or other technologies, however these are manageable numbers of students who are accustomed to it. The current challenge is to continue the education of hundreds of thousands of students, or potentially a whole state during high level shutdowns.
The preparation and delivery of remote education is a significant challenge for educators, particularly as most have none or little previous experience with it. Perhaps more challenging however is the required participation of parents and other responsible adults in a family to guide children in their care through remote school education.
The Australian Government has identified a number of challenges (see Media Article “Home learning and teaching during COVID 19“) including:
- small remote schools; particularly in challenging areas like the tri-state area of central Australia;
- career counselling of remote students and means of connecting them to further education or local employment;
- challenges faced by regional schooling providers and initiatives in place;
- how families of vulnerable young children can access, enrol and remain in early learning, and the collaboration between early and primary education;
- the performance and monitoring of those in home schooling to maintain national minimum standards; and
- access and support to deliver the Australian Curriculum (including STEM) in a flexible way, to meet local learning needs and interests of remote students, including examples of innovative ways in which the curriculum is being delivered in remote schools.
However in Australian it is not the Australian Government that actually owns Education institutions and schools, employs teachers and other educators, and delivers Education to students; that is provide by State Governments and a number of church and private institutions. Thus in recent months a diversity of remote education has been somewhat hastily developed across Australia and delivered to students and their supervising adults. On top of the stresses of many adults in families being required to work from home or being recently unemployed, this has been another major pressure point in the family home.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
“You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 11:19)
Lord, You established the family and commanded us to cover the Earth. Generation after generation, parents have looked to educate children so that they can live well in our society and contribute positively to it, often sacrificing some of their own wants and needs. We thank You our Lord and Creator God that we have had Your grace time and time again in big and small ways to see us through difficult times and we apologise that we have not always been thankful for Your grace.
Now we are facing a challenge unseen for many generations; a pandemic which threatens not only sickness and death, but has of necessity caused the complete overturning of our lives and our children’s lives to stay hidden together in our homes.
Help us we implore You Lord to have Your patience and wisdom so that each household can live through this in harmony. Help us to encourage and assist our children to maintain their education for however long we need to continue through these difficult times. Help us Lord to love one another as You love us.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the name You took when You came as a baby, lived among us, was killed, buried, and rose from the dead.
Government Initiatives for Education in Australia
- If you live in another country do some research on the government departments and agencies in your nation and pray for them.
- If you are in Australia, also do some research on your state Education Department.
Pray for the Department of Education and Training in the Australian Government which is responsible for national policies and programmes that help Australians access quality early childhood education, school education, higher education, vocational education and training, international education and research.
Please uphold all these sections in your prayers. Read John chapter 1 and meditate on it for the following sections within the department of Education.
Agencies in the Education sphere:
- Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
- Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Australian Research Council
- Australian Skills Quality Authority
- Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
- Australian Apprenticeships
- Australian Curriculum
- Australian Early Development Census
- Australian Qualifications Framework
- Australian Training Awards
- Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students
- Department of Education and Training Public Submissions
- Government Fee-Help
- International Education
- Learning Potential
- Student Skills
- National Literacy and Numeracy Week
- Preparing Secondary Students for Work
- Provider Registration and International Students Management System
- School Entry Points
- Student’s well being
- Study Assist – Centerlink help
- International students
- Trades Recognition Australia
“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17)
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15)
Lord, we uphold all the Education Department and it’s agencies. We thank you for the provision of education to the people in our nation. We ask that You would expose and remove anything within these services which are against You and against our people. Change any discrimination of race, colour, religion or economic status to be replaced with fairness for every student to be assisted to achieve to their potential. Improve or replace any managers and decision makers that are working for their own agendas or self-interest to leadership which honours You and makes wise and just decisions on curriculum, delivery and resources.
We thank You for Your mercy and grace.
Recent Federal Government Activity on Education in Australia
Below are some current information on government decisions relating to the sphere of Education In Australia (pray over each as you are led by the Holy Spirit):
- On 16 July 2020, public consultation commenced for the 2020 Review of the Disability Standards for Education. The Standards were established to ensure students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability. They help people understand the rights of students with disability, and make clear the obligations and responsibilities of education providers to students with disability. The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment is reviewing the Standards through an extensive community consultation process. The Standards are reviewed every five years to test if they remain effective in achieving their objects for students with disability and whether any improvements could be made.
- On 2 August 2020, the Australian Government launched a new online Literacy Hub. The Hub includes a voluntary online Phonics Health Check for teachers to use with their Year 1 students and for families there is a phonics and a reading awareness check and lots of other resources to help children learn to read. All of these free, online resources will help families and teachers work together to support children to develop their literacy skills.
- The Equity in Higher Education Panel (EHEP) is a high level strategic advisory body with a focus on student equity in higher education. The EHEP will provide strategic advice and make recommendations to the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment on strategic issues relating to improving student equity in higher education. As part of its work the EHEP will develop a National Equity in Higher Education Roadmap, a five year strategy to accelerate performance of underrepresented equity groups nationally and to raise the profile of equity best practice in the sector to embed it more effectively in universities’ missions.
- On 19 June 2020, the Australian Government announced the Job-ready Graduates Package.
This package aims to provide more opportunities for people to gain the qualifications they will require for the jobs of the future. These reforms aim to create a higher education system that is more efficient and can deliver better outcomes for students, industry and the wider community.This package will also support university-industry collaboration in the national interest, create a more responsive qualifications framework, foster the integrity of the higher education system, and provide the building blocks for national economic growth.
- The Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced an increase of $22 million in funding for the Teach for Australia programme. The Teach for Australia programme aims to fast-track high-calibre non-teaching graduates into disadvantaged schools through an intensive training programme that leads to a post-graduate teaching qualification.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)
“Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:12)
“And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)
Lord God, You have brought the representatives of our nation into our parliaments to make decisions on our behalf. Our one true King, we ask You to use these leaders to make the decisions that glorify You and provide the best in Education for our nation. Even those who are opposed to You and what is wholesome and good, use them Lord to turn around bad agendas, decisions, bills and acts into those that reflect Your will.
You are sovereign and you are our Lord forever.
Australian Government Portfolio: Education and Training
Parliament of Australia