Saturday, November 27

Schools better prepared for closure: ‘They know what they’re doing’

Homeschooling resumed today for hundreds of thousands of school-age children in Aotearoa, with the return of alert level four.

Boy studying homework math during his online lesson at home, social distancing during quarantine.  Concept of self isolation and online education caused by coronavirus pandemic

Photo: 123RF

Principals, teachers, parents and students said that while it would be difficult, they felt more prepared than previous closures.

For 6-year-old Isla Arcus in Nelson, there was a way to keep her busy today.

“I’m making a Lego tree house. It’s actually quite fun, because you can relax.”

But still, I’d rather be in the classroom.

“I like being in school more than being locked up.”

His mother, Janet, a newly admitted teacher, said that while confinement was challenging, it could be good for families.

“In general emotional terms, I think it’s very good for children to be around their whānau when there is uncertainty. So I think that’s a really good time for families to have a little fun.”

Teachers were under pressure last night, trying to quickly plan for at least the next three days at level 4, he said.

“Everyone at their battle stations last night, making sure the iPads were loaded and different bits and pieces like that, so if we need to deploy them in the next week, we’ll be able to do it.”

Further up the island in Tāmaki-Makaurau, Karl Vasau is the principal of Rowandale School in Manurewa, Auckland.

It is a predominantly Maori and Pacific Decile 1 elementary school of nearly 700 students, with a median household income of around $ 19,000 to $ 21,000.

Vasau said he felt more prepared than previous locks.

This was because they had the equipment they needed in storage.

“[The] most of our families had to share devices [in the last lockdown], and in most cases possibly a phone or an iPad, and that was one of the difficulties we had. Given the current situation, we have many devices in the school ready to implement if we need them. “

He explained the school plan.

“For the rest of this week, we’ll just make sure our own bubbles are safe and provide a few things online that parents can connect with, but for us it’s just a matter of ordering ourselves by Monday, when we launch our home program. Learning “.

In high schools, Post-Elementary Teachers Association president Melanie Webber said many students were preparing for mock exams.

She had been talking to teachers from all over the country.

“I have been talking to many Tāmaki Makarau schools and they are absolutely coping with it, they have come straight back, they know what they are doing,” he said.

“Most schools seem to keep a real focus on student well-being in the first place, so they make sure parents and students have time to adjust to things.”

But he said there was uncertainty on the South Island.

“I think they probably have high hopes that this is just a three-day start. So I imagine they are taking it easy, making sure their students and teachers are okay and preparing for the long run. deadline if necessary. “

She said that schools, adults and children must follow a simple message.

“It is very difficult and people need to be kind to themselves. We will get through this, we have done it before, but it is not easy.”

The Ministry of Education advised parents to be calm, reassuring and available.

It has guidance for parents, caregivers, and whānau. on your website.

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