Schools get creative as lockdown looms for education sector

With the school holidays brought forward, educators are looking at ways they can facilitate learning during potentially two weeks of self isolation.

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Not everyone has the technology to connect with teachers. Source: 1 NEWS

But with many students around the country unable to access technology or the internet, schools and the government are getting creative.

Flaxmere Primary principal Robyn Anderson says empty classrooms mean teachers need a whole new approach to the job.

“That job impacts on hundreds of children and whanau and we are doing  the best that we can today," she said.

Teachers are uploading lessons for students online. Even drama class won't stop at some schools, but it won't work for everyone.

Flaxmere primary is a low decile school and the reality is that 15 per cent of students don't have access to the internet at home, making online learning impossible.

Education packs are being provided for those families

Supplies leftover from the governments “Food in schools” programme are also on their way to those in need.

“I think the pastoral care is more important now ….it’s the emotional wellbeing of the children that is actually the priority over education at the moment.”

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted says it's working to provide infrastructure and support like reliable internet access.

“A situation like a pandemic it reveals the inequality in our system it doesn’t create it many children suffer from poor learning outcomes because of where they live...or the lack of support they have cut this might be a good opportunity to give them more resource.”

Manurewa Intermediate Associate Principal Ben Hutchings says they have devices at school but many don’t have the adequate technology at home. They’ll also be providing hard copy education packs.

“We all have phones and they are an acceptable device but laptops and accessing high quality broadband is a little more difficult.”

Secondary school students are urged to keep studying as NCEA assessments will be shifted.