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All-night fix and an apology - now fingers crossed for remote schooling

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Officials have worked through the night to fix the online education portal that crashed when almost two million Queensland students and their parents logged in to learn from home.

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Queensland has ruled out fully reopening schools before mid-May, despite pupils in NSW heading back to the classroom in a few weeks.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland would stick to a mid-term review of when it would be safe for students to return amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said Queensland was different to its southern neighbours, where students will head back to school for one-day-a-week from May 11 in a staggered process that will build to a full return by term three.

“They (NSW) are in a different situation to us,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.

“It would be irresponsible of me to fully open our schools when social distancing can’t be practised or worked out.

“We are reviewing that in May, halfway through the school term … and we’ll see how we are going with case numbers.”

“NSW is gradually bringing it back and that is exactly what I am looking at in a month’s time.”

Ms Palaszczuk’s comments come after officials worked through the night to fix the online education portal that crashed on Monday morning when almost two million Queensland students and their parents logged in to learn from home.

The website couldn’t cope with 1.8 million hits in less than half an hour. There are only 560,000 students in the state school system, including those physically attending classes, however teachers, staff and parents were also attempting to log on.

Tony Cook is the head of the department and on Tuesday apologised for what went wrong, saying officials had worked overnight to resolve the issue.

“We’re doing our best this morning,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“We’re absolutely asking people, if you can’t get on, that’s not such an issue.

“There’s other materials you can be using as well, take some time at to spend with your child.”

The online portal is a vital tool for students to learn remotely under adult supervision during the COVID-19 crisis.

Only the children students of essential workers, as well as vulnerable children, attended school in person on Monday.

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