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"It's confusing." Karl Stefanovic's heated exchange with the Education Minister over schools.

Victoria and the ACT are closing schools as of tomorrow.

In New South Wales, parents are being encouraged to keep kids at home, however schools will remain open for those with no other option.

But as the states and territories most affected by the spread of COVID-19 take drastic action when it comes to education facilities, the federal government is peddling a different message leaving parents and teachers exasperated and confused.

The current COVID-19 figures.

“Schools should remain open,” Education Minister Dan Tehan told the Today Show this morning. “If your kids are well and your students are well, then they should attend school.”

“What is very clear, is the message we need to get out to all parents that it is very safe to send children to school today,” he added.

WATCH: Dan Tehan on The Today show. Post continues after video.

Video via Nine

Last night we watched the Prime Minister scold Australians for their disregard for social distancing practices over the weekend, as Sydney’s Bondi Beach filled to capacity on Friday night.

Today, stage one of an Australian coronavirus shutdown is being implemented – with pubs, clubs, licensed venues within hotels, gyms, indoor sporting venues, entertainment venues, cinemas, casinos, restaurants and cafes (apart from takeaway options) closing from midday.

READ: Essential and on-essential services: A breakdown of what is and isn’t shutting down today.

Coronavirus Australia update Bondi
Bondi beach on Friday was filled with people ignoring social distancing rules. Image: Getty.
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And yet schools - according to the federal government - remain safe.

"There is no cohesion between the federal and the state governments here. It is confusing for parents trying to work out what to do when you are saying something different to what Victoria and the ACT are saying," Today Show co-host Ally Langdon told Tehan.

"No we're not," he replied.

"Sorry I don't mean to interrupt... but can you explain to me how you are on the same page here...Victoria and ACT are shutting their schools and the federal government is saying schools will stay open - send your kids to school?" Langdon asked.

"No, what the federal government is doing is working with state and territory governments to put in place arrangements so that our children don't lose a year's education as a result of the coronavirus... that would be another huge sacrifice that our nation would be making as a result of this," Tehan tried to explain.

Victoria says their decision to shut schools is coming from advice from their state's chief medical officer, and yet Tehan says in last night's Cabinet meeting with the different state and territory leaders it was agreed that "the medical advice has not changed and that it is safe to send your children to schools".

"I am not entirely sure what world you live in or what planet you live on... if you don't think parents are confused," co-host Karl Stefanovic told the Education Minister.

"Right now you're saying stay open and it's okay. The Victorian government are saying they are not going. That's immediately confusing. Right there... that is confusing," said Stefanovic.

Dan Tehan
Education minister Dan Tehan couldn't give the Today Show a straight answer this morning regarding schools. Image: Nine.
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"I live on the same planet as you do. What we're trying to do is make sure we've got a very consistent and national approach," said Tehan.

"How is that consistent?" asked Stefanovic. "Victoria are not sending their kids to school and you're saying it's okay that's confusing."

"If you'll just let me try to explain because this is incredibly important. What Victoria have done is bring their school holidays forward. They will be putting in place arrangements to move to online education. But they're also working through what needs to be done to make sure all our essential services workers - that their children can attend school during that time. The most vulnerable in our community can attend school during that time. All the other states and territories are looking at their individual arrangements and working out what is the best way for us to provide education to our children at this time," said Tehan.

"Each state and territory is making different decisions based on when their school holidays start."

The response online to the interview mirrored the frustration shown by both Langdon and Stefanovic.

"I barely survived watching that interview," wrote one viewer on Twitter.

"No wonder people are confused," wrote another.

"I am even more confused now!" said a third.

Feature image: Today Show/Nine.

READ: An ode to our teachers, who are proving to be true superheroes during the coronavirus outbreak.

READ: "As an Australian teacher right now, I feel like a sacrificial lamb."

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