Teachers in coronavirus-hit Victoria have lodged more compensation claims for mental health than any other profession, even the at-risk healthcare sector which has racked up over 1200 infections.
An ABC report said WorkCover in Victoria has received 111 claims for compensation for the effects of COVID-19, with 78 of those claims being from people who had not actually contracted the virus.
Of those 78 non-infected claimants, 26 were in the eduation and training industry, 21 in healthcare and 11 in the public service or safety workers, with ‘mental injury’ being the most typical cited effects.
Educators have had to change their teaching methods as schools closed and distance learning began during waves of the pandemic.
With metropolitan Melbourne now in the midst of a Stage 4 lockdown and rural Victoria currently under a Stage 3 order, the state’s teachers are now faced with a prolonged period of teaching and assessingonline.
Teachers in coronavirus-hit Victoria have lodged more compensation claims for mental health than any other profession (stock image)
Victoria’s teachers are now faced with the difficult task of preparing remote learning classes for students online
‘It’s been an almost relentless period of time without any break whatsoever, so they’re working incredibly hard to meet the needs of their students, which is heroic really,’ teachers clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller told the ABC.
The challenges of administering online learning has not only been a technological one.
Glitches and issues with the system have left parents furious and some teachers have borne the brunt of their anger.
‘The tensions [about] who can motivate these kids, whether it’s parents or teachers, becomes more fraught,’ Mr Fuller said.
Victoria’s largest Islamic school Al-Taqwa College (pictured) in Truganina sparked a huge outbreak of more than 150 cases
All 2,000 students and 300 teachers at the school were forced to self isolate in July
‘There has been a bit of pointing the finger about who is responsible.’
The standard WorkCover claim lodged for mental health injury is for someone who has missed more than 10 days of work and endured medical expenses of more than $735.
Mr Fuller said in some cases teachers have been so concerned about contracting the virus, they have been preparing their wills, although there have been no recorded cases of a teacher picking up the illnes from a pupil.
The remaining claims – beside education, health and public administrators – were made up workers from various sectors including, financial, scientific and IT services, retail, transportation, telecommunications, media and postal workers.
Glitches and issues with remote learning have left parents furious and some teachers have borne the brunt of their anger
A teacher from Keilor Downs College (pictured) in Melbourne, tested positive to coronavirus in July