Wednesday 8 April
Detailed package of supports for schools and kura announced
This afternoon, the Minister announced details of the package of supports and resources for supporting state and state integrated schools and kura to deliver learning at a distance when Term 2 begins on 15 April. You can see the Minister’s press release and Q&As on the Beehive website.
It’s important to state up front that the Government is still working to a timeframe of a four-week lockdown, lifting on 22 April, but we’re planning for every scenario so that we have a resilient system and are taking this opportunity to invest in closing the digital divide.
That means, in education, developing robust distance learning infrastructure so that learners and ākonga don’t miss out in any scenario, such as alert levels moving up and down or schools, kura and ECEs or kōhanga and puna reo having to stay closed for longer.
This week we have begun the dispatch of devices and hard copy resources. The first devices and modems are being dispatched this week, and the first tranche of hard copy deliveries will make their way to homes on Thursday and will continue on Tuesday next week.
Thank you all for the work you have done to complete the survey, which will enable to delivery of devices or hard packs to homes. Just a reminder that if you do not have this information and are asking parents to provide it, it is important that you’re explicit about why the information is being collected and used – that we are collecting this information to better support students’ needs for distance learning and will be using it to:
- help identify what support may be needed
- distribute hard copy learning resources to learners
- report at an aggregate level on its COVID-19 response and for research and statistical purposes.
Starting this week, the Ministry is rolling out an extensive, four-channel package to provide at least one distance-learning option for all families by 15 April.
As we advised last week, the package includes:
- increasing the number of students and ākonga who have access to connectivity and devices by an estimated 2000 this week (limited by the number of modems available)
- supporting where we can with hard copy materials for different year levels
- a range of NCEA subject-specific hard-copy resources for delivery to years 11-13 students and ākonga
- more online resources for schools and kura, parents, ākonga and whānau available through the Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama websites
- providing insurance cover for devices your schools and kura send to student homes
- PLD to support teachers and kaiako, tumuaki and leaders to work remotely with their students, ākonga and whānau
- TV channels in English and te reo Māori offering learning prgrammes for learners from early learning to year 10
- Extending access to the Virtual Learning Network.
We are also fast-tracking ways to connect Learning Support Coordinators with families and whānau remotely.
Parents are not expected to replace their child’s teacher. You and your staff are the experts in the practice of teaching and learning, and these supports are intended to supplement and enable the learning programmes you are delivering to your students and ākonga.
Home learning television
We want to ensure that every learner and ākonga has at least one channel for accessing educational content from 15 April – either through this package or through their school or kura.
So, we have been working with teachers and leaders, alongside staff from ERO and Te Kura to develop Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV, on TVNZ, which will run from 9am to 3pm on school days on TVNZ2+1 and Sky channel 502. Some lessons will also be available on TVNZ On Demand.
There will be content for parents and whānau with preschool children and tamariki, and lessons for those aged 5 to 15 years of age will cover a broad curriculum that includes movement, music, physical education, wellbeing, numeracy, literacy and science through an integrated approach to curriculum. There’s already a lot of good education video content available, and the Ministry will be working with experts and educators to refine and further develop it.
Thank you to those of you who have agreed to release your teachers and kaiako to deliver these lessons – we know that for most of them live television will be unlike anything they have done before, and we’re very grateful for their willingness to be part of this initiative to broadcast learning into the homes of children and young people across the country.
We have also been working with Māori Television to make distance learning accessible for all ākonga and whānau. The programmes on Māori Television are for reo Māori learners of all ages, with a focus on those who are aged 0-18, covering ākonga in kōhungahunga (early learning), kura tuatahi (primary) and wharekura (secondary).
Programming will be tailored to specific age groups of reo Māori learners throughout the day from 9am to 3pm. It will be aligned to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and contain age appropriate content that tamariki can do on their own, with their siblings or together as a whānau. Content will focus on building skills in speaking te reo Māori, and ensure that te reo Māori is being spoken and heard in the home.
We will be putting information about the programme scheduling on the Learning from Home website early next week this will help teachers be able to connect with learners who are accessing these programmes.
We have had a lot of requests for learning material hard packs for learners and there are limits on what we can provide immediately. The first tranche of deliveries will make their way to homes on Thursday and will continue on Tuesday next week. You will receive a confirmation email of who has been sent a pack. Content of the packs is on the Learning from Home Website, this is to help teachers interact with students with their learning activities.
Access to devices and connectivity
In our email to schools and kura last week, we indicated how we will prioritise the rollout of devices and hard copy materials. We will reach students and ākonga and households in waves, with an initial focus on connecting students and ākonga in senior secondary school working towards NCEA – to minimise disruption for those working towards a qualification – and on those with greatest need due to disadvantage. The first devices and modems are being dispatched this week.
Where we are unable to immediately connect a household with the internet or get a device to a student, we will be working with schools and kura to provide hard-copy learning materials direct to homes where possible. The first of these will leave the warehouse this week.
Extending access to the Virtual Learning Network Community (VLNC)
We are funding more places for students to receive direct teaching from experienced e-teachers though the VLNC during term 2.
This means that students, and especially those from rural, remote or small schools can take part in classes or programmes that their own schools are not able to offer.
The Learning from Home website will provide links to enable schools to enrol students in either primary or secondary provision.
The VLNC will also offer support to teachers who are setting up their own online learning classes.