The secondary school graduations rate for Australian students has fallen to the lowest level in four years.
The Productivity Commission, a federal government review body, released its annual report on childcare and education services in Australia on Thursday.
The number of students who finished year 12, Australia’s final year of secondary education, declined from 1.9 million in 2020 to 1.79 million in 2021, according to the report.
Victoria, Australia’s second-largest state, saw the highest drop, with 56,100 fewer students completing year 12 than in 2020, followed by a 34,700 drop in New South Wales.
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Long coronavirus lockdowns disrupted the school year in both states, with students forced to rely on online learning for months.
Western Australia, on the other hand, recorded a drop in year 12 completions of 18,700, although having fewer than 2,000 total COVID-19 cases and avoiding lockdowns.
In 2021, the national median weekly childcare expenditure was 540 Australian dollars,up slightly from 530 AUD in 2020.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, recurrent expenditure on early childhood and care in Victoria has climbed by 2,321 AUD (1,655 USD) per kid, the most of any jurisdiction.