School packs for students: Mata Puia-Huch and her son Lilrics are pleased to have an educational school pack, now that the holidays have been extended. The homework package was handed out to Takitumu Primary students after government closed schools early due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lilric is also kept occupied at home planting avocado and passion seeds, but he is looking forward to returning to school. 20040713.
With school holidays extended for another two weeks the Ministry of Education gives reassurances to students sitting NCEA this year and promises to keep them informed every step of the way.
For Cook Islands students working towards NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 during the Covid-19 pandemic, now more than ever before, discipline and independent, self-directed learning will make the difference when it comes to results.
With anxiety mounting among those students and parents who don’t have access to online resources and are worried about extended school holidays cutting into their class time, Cook Islands Ministry of Education is offering reassurances that they haven’t been forgotten.
The ministry is working behind the scenes with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to ensure NCEA internal assessments are managed going forward, including strategies from learning programmes should attendance at external assessments be disrupted.
Education secretary Danielle Cochrane said both the ministry and schools, remain in close contact with the Authority’s school relationship managers and together they will assist schools in developing plans for NCEA assessment and qualifications.
“Once this information is confirmed, along with strategies, all will be shared with schools, teachers and communities,” she said.
“This is particularly important for our next steps at the end of this current extended holiday period.”
Cochrane said NCEA’s flexibility is its strength and this means they can adapt how it is delivered and use it to reflect the current context.
While schools have also been preparing for remote learning, Cochrane said they recognise that remote learning requires significant family input and support.
“If and when we commence remote learning, we need to make sure families are well prepared for this significant undertaking, alongside teachers,” she said.
“Many of our schools have prepared homework packs and options for children during this time and we trust these have been well received.”
For senior students, who are already capable independent learners, they would have been provided with their course outlines from the beginning of the year and many with resources before school closed for the holiday period.
“We ask that they take this time to focus on things that interest them, that keep them reading, researching and engaged in learning especially for topics that will be delivered soon,” Cochrane said.
“We know this will be a very disrupted and uncertain time, however, we have utmost confidence in the professionalism, resourcefulness and resilience of both our teachers and students to pull through this together, as we have done before with challenges.”