Where’s the plan to help Auckland’s students?

The Government must provide a date and plan for Auckland schools to reopen now, says National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

“As kids throughout the country get back to the classroom on Monday, students in Auckland continue to miss out on critical classroom time as lockdown drags on. The Government hasn’t set a pathway for returning to school.

“Worse still, the Government has no idea how much time students spend actually engaged in online learning. Hundreds of schools have stopped submitting attendance data.

“One principal has described on line learning as ‘a joke’; another admits 40 per cent of students log in ‘on a good day’. 

“Our truancy and attendance challenges are only worsened by prolonged periods of missed class time.
“Many senior students are worried about what will happen if they cannot sit exams.

“For a Government allegedly concerned about well-being, the sluggishness to provide a plan for reopening schools is causing anxiety for students – and their parents.

“Students and parents deserve to know when schools will reopen, or at least have the conditions required for reopening spelled out.

“If schools can demonstrate their staff are double-vaccinated, why can’t they reopen now with sensible precautions?

“The Government’s slow vaccination rollout left New Zealand ill-prepared, but their complacency about the impact of lockdowns on education time risks devastating long-term harms for a generation of students.”