Will schools open for Term 2 to next week? For Term 2 at all?

Yesterday the Government sent mixed signals with the release of an education package that is clearly aimed at enabling education from home. It looks a lot like they are setting up for a lengthy period of students learning from home – my guess is probably for the duration of Term 2.

Term 2 is officially due to start next week after Easter, on Wednesday 15 April with a duration of 12 weeks (nearly three months).

Minister of Education  Chris Hipkins stated:

The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau keep their children engaged in learning through play, Chris Hipkins said.

“It’s important to reinforce up front that the Government is still working to a timeframe of a four-week Level 4 lockdown but we’re planning for every scenario.

“That means, in education, developing robust distance learning infrastructure and a more resilient system so that learners can receive education in any scenario.

“We’re moving so that all families will have at least one education delivery option available to them when Term 2 starts,” Chris Hipkins said.

The official start date for term 2 is next Wednesday, but the four week lockdown extends past that another week and a day, so schools can’t open for the start of term 2 in any case (unless there’s a sudden change of Level 4 rules).

The Government would be unlikely to put together such an extensive ‘learn from home’ package for one week of education.

How many hard copy packs are being printed and for which years?

Depending on demand, and subject to printing and delivery logistics, we are prepared to ship tens of thousands of packs if required over the coming weeks.

A variety of packs are being prepared for all age groups – early learners and from year 1 through NCEA, including for learners in Māori medium. We will start by prioritising delivery these to younger students and those who are disadvantaged.  NCEA students will be able to request packs across up to six subject areas each.

Shipping “over the coming weeks” isn’t education cover for a week or two.

What is the estimated flow of internet-ready devices for students to work on?

About 17,000 devices have been ordered and are confirmed to be shipped to students and ākonga in April. Not all will arrive before 15 April, and it may take up to a month for all of them to be sent to households. Many schools already have their own stocks.

We are working to secure thousands more devices from offshore.

That doesn’t sound like a short term plan.

TV channels

“We’re also preparing education broadcasts on two channels, one for English medium schooling and one for Māori medium, starting on 15 April,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The broadcasts will run over six and a half hours during the day.”

They are not setting that up for a week or two of broadcasts.

Level 4 specifies “educational facilities closed” so that specifically rules out schools opening next week.

Level 3 specifies “affected educational facilities closed”. It will depend on what ‘affected’ means.

They could be allowing for the possibility of a drop to Level 3 in the near future (after 4 weeks or soon after) but the likelihood that some regions may stay at Level 4, or some regions or the country may have to go back up to level 4 at some stage in the future.

I think that parents and caregivers of school students should be informed as soon as possible what the likely arrangements will be for schools after the 4 weeks and for the duration of Term 2.


UPDATE:  ‘Unlikely’ students back at school as soon as lockdown ends – Education Minister

Once the lockdown is over, Education Minister Chris Hipkins told The AM Show that parents shouldn’t expect their children to be heading back to school straight away.

“Don’t assume that as soon as we are come out of level four that schools and early childhood services will all automatically reopen. That is actually unlikely. It is likely to be more of a staged re-entry for schools and early childhood centres and that is going to be done based on health advice” he said.

“It is quite difficult to manage social distancing and, particularly for young kids and early childhood and in primary schooling, so we are working through all of the different scenarios for when it will be safe for kids to go back to school.

“We want them back at school as quickly as we can get them back to school. But we are not going to do that until we know they will be safe and we are not going to be spreading the virus.”

 

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. If primary kids can’t go to school, mum or dad can’t go to work which leaves the country largely still in lockdown. Sad.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  9th April 2020

      I fear that the unmotivated will treat it as a prolonged holiday.

      Reply
  2. David

     /  9th April 2020

    With just 26 new cases and finally it looks like she has been dragged into quarantining at the border why would she leave schools shut down, somebody suggested shipping 17000 free laptops to vote rich households could explain it.
    Does she have no confidence in her ability to manage the re opening of NZ, this does not bode well for opening up the economy.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  9th April 2020

      the domestic economy has unfortunately become reliant on the FIRE economy,a remarkably parasitical ,unproductive sector.

      As always the NZ economy at large is primarily influenced by …external factors beyond our control.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  9th April 2020

        And here was me think primary products were the mainstay of NZ economy.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  9th April 2020

          well ,just think how many times you’ve been wrong before !

          Dairy =around 4% of GDP.
          Interest rates and Forex rates are a big factor on earnings.

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  9th April 2020

            Great, now all you have to do is add:
            Cattle and sheep
            Deer farming
            Seafood
            Forestry
            Horticulture
            Mining
            Oil and gas

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  9th April 2020

              Rough estimate of all those incl dairy=35 billion…do the math.

              Bear in mind Tourism was easily the biggest contributor to GDP.

            • Blazer

               /  9th April 2020

              Apologies ,my guesses were wildly inaccurate and over optimistic.
              Massey University have the up to date info for you.

              ‘Primary Industries Sector

              Primary Industries in NZ are represented by a broad mix of large enterprises and small businesses producing goods to the value of around $17B annually.

              In total, the contribution of the primary sector to New Zealand’s GDP is approximately 7% with Agriculture, forestry and fishing producing around 80% of the sector’s output and mining the remaining 20% as can be observed here.’

      • artcroft

         /  9th April 2020

        So now tourism is the industry we rely on. I thought you said it was this fire economy thing.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  9th April 2020

      It’s going to be really tragic for Ardern when numbers identified as having the virus subside and very few have died.

      The triumphant chorus from those who claimed there was a total overreaction will drown out all the election guff. And all those who didn’t die and who didn’t have to go to funerals of their loved ones can trot along and vote her out of office.

      A little bit later than originally planned of course because Paula Bennett would have had the date changed because we’re too thick to handle an election in mid September. At least that change will give Ardern more time to pack and listen to the taunts about overreaction bounce off the slopes of Te Ahumairangi.

      Then the triumphant ones can look forward to the opening up of the economy being in the good hands they have installed.

      Is that how it goes?

      Reply
  3. Griff.

     /  9th April 2020

    It was breathlessly reported on here recently that Norway and Denmark are opening schools.
    Unfortunately they did not give us the full picture.

    Norway’s government has announced plans to open kindergartens from April 20 in the first stage of a gradual lifting of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

    “Our ambition is that all students, in one way or another, should be able to return to school before the summer,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

    One week after kindergartens open, on April 27, pupils in their first four years of school (up until the age of eleven), will return to classes, with the higher grades also returning at some point before the summer, the government said.

    https://www.thelocal.no/20200407/norway-to-open-kindergartens-from-april-20-as-first-step-to-end-lockdown

    Denmark to reopen schools and kindergartens next week

    Denmark’s government has announced plans to reopen kindergartens and schools for children up until the age of 11, as it takes the first steps in a gradual lifting of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
    snip
    Older children from class six (11-12) until class ten (15-16) will be able to return to school at the earliest on May 10, Frederiksen said, as will pupils in upper secondary school. As a result, all end of term exams for pupils will be cancelled.

    https://www.thelocal.dk/20200406/denmark-to-reopen-schools-and-kindergartens-next-week

    Both of these country locked down two weeks before us. We will get to see the results of their opening schools before NZ makes a decision.

    Reply
    • David

       /  9th April 2020

      It was one comment that they were moving to re open which is exactly what you have linked to.
      It’s a very strange over reaction to a pretty innocuous observation.

      Reply
  4. UPDATE:  ‘Unlikely’ students back at school as soon as lockdown ends – Education Minister

    Once the lockdown is over, Education Minister Chris Hipkins told The AM Show that parents shouldn’t expect their children to be heading back to school straight away.

    “Don’t assume that as soon as we are come out of level four that schools and early childhood services will all automatically reopen. That is actually unlikely. It is likely to be more of a staged re-entry for schools and early childhood centres and that is going to be done based on health advice” he said.

    “It is quite difficult to manage social distancing and, particularly for young kids and early childhood and in primary schooling, so we are working through all of the different scenarios for when it will be safe for kids to go back to school.

    “We want them back at school as quickly as we can get them back to school. But we are not going to do that until we know they will be safe and we are not going to be spreading the virus.”

    Added to post.

    Reply
  5. David

     /  9th April 2020

    Maybe the education minister needs to take back control of the education system in NZ from the teachers union and have a crack at running it for the benefit of the students, novel thinking but hey it could work.
    Here is a thought Chippie how about trusting parents not to send little Jonny to go and see Nana after school instead.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s