Government vague on lockdown education

As kids and parents face weeks away from school, the Government remains vague on the reality of education under lockdown, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins admitted to a Select Committee this morning that the Government doesn’t have a clear idea of how many kids are getting anything close to a full day’s learning today, tomorrow or for the rest of the week.

“The Government just doesn’t know. It also doesn’t know how many primary school children don’t have access to devices to learn from.

“While some schools know exactly how many students are logged on to digital classes, many others don’t, and the Government isn’t keeping tabs on this.

“Mr Hipkins also doesn’t know how many teachers are vaccinated.

“Perhaps we can afford to be so relaxed if schools are shut for just one week. But as Delta cases continue to rise, we could see schools closed for many more weeks to come.

“We had a long lockdown last year, and have had plenty of time since then to learn from it and prepare for another one. It’s inexcusable that the Government is so vague about what’s going on under lockdown.

“If the Government hadn’t been negligently slow with our vaccine rollout, we may not have been in this situation and our children could be at school and learning.

“Because of the Government’s negligently slow vaccine rollout the nation’s kids and parents face potentially many weeks away from school, with unknown consequences for learning and for their wellbeing.”