Auckland, December 12, 2021
Without a doubt, the disruption due to the Covid-19 lockdowns has affected us all.
In all of the coverage around âthe new normalâ and âhybrid work environmentsâ, much of that impact has been. Our education sector, for example, has rarely featured.
If tamariki is our future, we need to be concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on children’s learning and education.
ERO Academic Report
The lingering effects of the Covid-19 disruptions on our compulsory education sector are alarming.
the results of the latest Education Review Office A survey of teachers and school principals highlights the growing impact of Covid-19 on learning, teachers and students.
Editor’s Note: The story of the ERO can be read here.
The government has not sounded the alarm, neither the media nor the Ministry of Education.
Educators are more exhausted than last year, and regions like Auckland have seen more disruption, which affects the well-being and engagement of teachers and learners. Teachers highlighted the growing concerns about students’ social behavior.
They feared having to deal with the anxieties of students, families and communities surrounding the return to school. School principals are concerned about unmanageable workloads, especially in smaller and rural schools. Manpower issues were evident in schools in the lower deciles, with secondary schools struggling to fill vacant positions.
The challenges before the pandemic
Before the pandemic, our education sector was full of challenges. These problems included; problems with physical infrastructure, poor literacy and numeracy levels and a declining workforce. All of these factors, combined with learning in the Covid-19 era and post-containment disruption, make us wonder, ‘What will happen to education in New Zealand and our educational staff? ? “
Educators have been adaptive and innovative in response to Covid-19.
Hybrid learning environments, combining distance and classroom learning, have increased despite resource inequalities across regions and deciles. Educators continued to respond to the needs of learners, whanau and communities amid the chaos.
Despite this, growing fears about low job satisfaction and increasing burnout among teachers require attention and priority.
There is a saying: “It is better, and more useful, to solve a problem on time than to seek redress after the damage is done.” “
Aspects of the government’s response have embodied this by drawing attention to the importance of preventive public health measures. Prevention is a long-term game, it is essential in the post-Covid recovery and the future planning of our education sector.
Addressing the lingering effects of the pandemic and the resulting disruption today protects our children’s future.
This prevention requires meeting the challenges of professional burnout that our teachers are facing today.
He calls for creative solutions to support the transition to hybrid learning environments, leaving no one behind. In the words of Nelson Mandela, âeducation is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the worldâ.
Education is a taonga, a leveler in many societies and a child’s passport to obtaining opportunities, new horizons and a future. We must continue to ensure that this taonga is passed on to future generations by caring for it today.
âAlapasita Teu is a researcher at the Maxim Institute based in Auckland.