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Ed Sheeran

Kura join communities to counter COVID
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The Education Review Office has praised the response of the Māori medium sector to restrictions imposed because of COVID-19.

But it also warned four in five low decile schools were concerned about student achievement, with only a third of these schools were confident their students would catch up.

The ERO has published a suite of reports on the impacts of COVID-19 on the education sector.

Chief executive Nicholas Pole says Auckland and schools serving the lowest socio-economic areas were hit hardest and are likely to face the greatest challenges this year.

He says many schools and services reported COVID-19 has negatively impacted attendance, and only a quarter of NCEA students told the ERO they were coping with their schoolwork.

"It is important to recognize that students and children starting in services, schools and classrooms this year will not be where they would have been in previous years. Both their learning and wellbeing has been impacted.

“It is important that teachers understand where their learners are at, have good plans in place to support them and keep engaging with whānau,” Mr pole says.

The reports include guidance on how services and schools can do this.

The report on the Māori medium sector says kura and kohanga successfully joined forces with their communities to respond quickly to the many challenges presented by COVID-19, and went above and beyond for learners, whānau, hapū and iwi.

"Through high levels of shared responsibility, communication and collaboration across all levels of education, ERO saw supportive learning environments over lockdown and higher levels of learner and whānau engagement. There was also strong focus on supporting wellbeing and connectedness, which ensured an effective response from the sector to the diverse needs of all learners and their whānau," Mr Pole says.

ERO’s findings also show Māori-medium learners were more engaged and more likely to experience wellbeing and continuity of learning when they had access to meaningful and differentiated learning experiences; when technology was accessible and used effectively; and when communities kept connected and upheld tikanga practices.

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