“The Ministry has surveyed schools and about half say they are well set up currently for distance learning using the internet. But we are taking action to support new connections and resources for students at all schools,” says Minister of Education, Hon Chris Hipkins.
The package to be rolled out this week includes:
· Increasing the number of students who have internet access and devices.
· Delivering hard copy packs of materials for different year levels.
· Funding two television channels to broadcast education-related content – one for English medium and one for Māori medium, including content that is targeted to Pacific and other communities.
· More online resources for parents, available through the Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama websites, and fast-tracking ways to connect Learning Support Coordinators with families remotely.
The PPTA says secondary teachers across the country are pleased to have the government’s support as they prepare for distance learning in Term 2, which begins next Wednesday 15 April.
PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “One of the concerns for many teachers has been the inequity that exists between students with good internet access and devices and those without, so it is great to hear that every student will have access to at least one mode of learning while schools are not physically open.”
“This is the first time that New Zealand has attempted to deliver the full curriculum to all its learners remotely and at short notice. That is no small feat. Everyone – students, whānau, teachers and school leaders alike – is going to be learning as they go and adapting as best they can.”
“Of course, a key part of any successful distance learning is the values of connection and care, and we know teachers and kids will be pleased to reconnect next week,” says Boyle.