The Australian government;s review agency, the Productivity Commission on Thursday published a new report which found that the number of students who completed year 12, the final year of secondary school in the country, fell from 1.9 million in 2020 to 1.79 million in 2021.
It marked the first time since 2017 that the figure has fallen below 1.8 million, reports Xinhua news agency.
The biggest decline was in Victoria, Australia’s second-biggest state, where 56,100 fewer students completed year 12 than in 2020 followed by a decline of 34,700 in New South Wales.
The education year in both states was significantly impacted by lengthy coronavirus lockdowns, with students restricted to online learning for months.
However, Western Australia, the state which has had fewer than 2,000 total Covid-19 cases and has widely avoided lockdowns, also reported a fall in year 12 completions of 18,700.
The national median weekly cost for 50 hours of childcare in 2021 was A$540 ($385), a slight increase from A$530 in 2020.
In Victoria, which has endured longer lockdowns than any other jurisdiction, the recurrent spending on early childhood and care increased by A$2,321 per child since the start of the pandemic.
Serious incidents of injury, trauma or illness at childcare services rose in every state and territory except the Northern Territory over the last two years.
The biggest increase of 1,719 was recorded in New South Wales.