Coronavirus: Schools remain open

coronavirus 20/03/2020
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Magic Talk Mornings host Peter Williams spoke to Jack Boyle, the President of the Post Primary Teachers association about what Covid-19 means for schools, the idea of online learning and what strategies to focus on.

Peter begins by asking Boyle whether New Zealand should follow in the UK’s footsteps and shut down our schools.

Jack explains the PPTA’s attitude is to follow the advice of the health officials and Ministry of Education.

Schools remain open for instruction at this stage


Boyle praises the decision making tool that was released yesterday, saying communities and schools will find it useful, “these situations may arise, and this will be the response, should that [particular] situation arise”

When speaking about teachers, Boyle goes on to say “teachers do have some concerns”, especially those who may be more vulnerable due to underlying health conditions.

The PPTA’s plan is to continue to be really clear, Boyle explains, especially “why we're doing what we’re doing and where we can actually support.”

Today Wellington College is running a practice day with distance learning, and Boyle claims “a number of schools have gone through similar things.”

Many schools are pandemic planning, by cancelling all events, and setting up their pupils for online learning.

Boyle advises parents should feel confident that;

sending children to school is safe and is the right thing to be doing [at the moment].

“Schools who don't have full infrastructure are preparing for that and will be supported by the Ministry of Education.”

The PPTA believe these strategies are the ones to focus on to make a difference:

  • Physical distance

  • Thorough and frequent handwashing

  • Coughing and sneezing into elbows

  • Mindful and supportive of one another

  • No unnecessary panicking

When asked how Covid-19 might impact exams and NCEA, Boyle states “there’s certainly going to be impact for this term”, however he recommends heading to the NZQA website where there is advice for students and parents.

Listen to the full interview above.