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Learning at home just not the same for all students

May 20, 2020

Learning at home just not the same for all students

Number Works ’n' Words has tutored struggling students online during lockdown. PHOTO: BEN MOLLISON


New Zealand schools' variable online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic has created some uncertainty for students going into level 2 conditions. 

Perry Rush, president of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, says he has reached the “end of comfort levels” for student disruption.

Leanne Rhodes-Robinson, manager of Tauranga’s NumberWorks‘nWords tuition company, suggested teachers’ online involvement has differed between lessons, with some teachers only sending hard copy work.

Mr Perry agreed not everyone has had access to effective digital teaching, so assessing student progress was top priority to bring students up to speed as school returns this week.

“There are several groups of students that will be feeling this loss of face-to-face teaching quite keenly.

“One of those groups of students are vulnerable in their home lives. The second group are students who have challenges with their learning and work and that, at the best of times, require teachers to work alongside them,” he said.

Ms Rhodes-Robinson said the majority of her students have expressed difficulty without in-person teaching.

“It’s been a strain on students, and parents to do what a teacher does in a classroom environment.

“You’ve got your parents that might be busy or still working, you’ve got distractions at home with other siblings, technical barriers and Internet issues just to name a few,” she said.

She said the majority of her students’ parents were wanting to see a return to in-person tuition.

“[Parents] realise the value of the in-centre benefits versus the limitations of doing something online so they’re keen to start.”

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