Ministry of Education announces plans for distance learning

The second school term officially restarts on 15 April while the 4 week lockdown is still going. The Ministry of Education is gearing up for providing working from home resources including mailed out paper packs targeting different age groups plus two TV broadcast channels.

RNZ: Ministry of Education reveals support plans for distance learning

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said while the plan was still for a four-week lockdown, schools must be prepared for any scenario.

That requires the means and resources to study properly home, Hipkins said.

“We’re moving so that all families will have at least one education delivery option available to them when term two starts,” he said.

It sounds like the are preparing for weeks if not months of school pupils working from home.

“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.”

From this week a package targeting four areas will be rolled out:

  • 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.

Schools will also get more support to to assist schools to set up and make the best use of distance learning, and teachers and leaders will get access to more professional learning and development (PLD) to support them to work remotely with their students.

This will complement the efforts schools are making to provide work at home for pupils (that is already being done by some schools at least).

From Stuff Live:

He (Hipkins) said as schools are preparing for term two, he wanted to assure people that they’re preparing for all possible scenarios.

Hipkins said the goal is that all families have at least one channel of learning support by April 15.

When asked if this style of learning will continue after we leave alert level four, he said the Ministry of Education is actively engaged in the planning beyond level four lockdown and they’re working through all different scenarios.

He said people shouldn’t assume that all schools and ECE will open on day one post-lockdown.

He said there’ll be further announcements about what happens at the end of level four lockdown in due course.

The NCEA review package is helping contribute to the work that’s being done at the moment, particularly around the online delivery of it. Hipkins said they’re progressing this.
Other parts around long term work of the review are on the backburner.
On the topic of the educational channels. Hipkins said some content will be drawn from existing catalogues, some will be bridging, and some will be new. He said there’ll be some familiar faces returning to TV.


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