'It seems a bit hurried' - Māori principal on students' return to classroom

By Te Ao - Māori News

Students in years 11-13 who live in alert level 3 areas, will be able to return to school next Tuesday. 

Te Akatea  Māori Principals Association president  Bruce Jepsen says the response to this announcement has varied from rohe to rohe, and whānau to whānau. He feels this decision seems “hurried,” especially for schools in Auckland.

“My concern is that, if we were to drill down, isTāmaki, where they have been off school for a long time. There are teachers and principals who are expected to carry out this transition back to school.... And we need to be careful in how we do that.”

The Ministry of Education has said reopening Tamaki's classrooms to senior students was critical for their learning, and based on advice from public health experts.

However, Jepsen says the safety of Ngāi Māori could be compromised as a result, due to Māori not being connected to the current health system.

“The return for school is different for them.

“For Māori with low vaccinations yet highest infection rates, this is going to expand into the classroom and into those exam spaces."