Friday, 4 March 2011

Christchurch Schools – Where is the vision?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/4731463/Christchurch-earthquake-Plan-to-get-kids-back-to-school

“Re-locatable classrooms may be put onto sports grounds to house more than 10,000 pupils whose schools are closed”

I continue to be disappointed by the lack of vision our Ministry of Education has in responding to the needs of Christchurch school children – both immediate and long term.

What is this huge preoccupation with bricks & mortar as the necessary foundation of schooling for our children? Why should we be relocating buildings to create overcrowded schools when learning centres can be (and are being) set up within the community? Why should you be encouraging teachers from around the country to offer relief assistance when eteachers around the country are willing and able to take on more students into their classes and provide new classes? 

As the Christchurch Council bravely starts to espouse a vision of a very different city rising from the rubble how is a vision being developed for education? Where is the creativity in changing ideas and approaches to meet the learning needs of our students?

Quakeboarding: Photo by Alicia Krueger
Quakeboarding: Photo by Alicia Krueger

The VLN Community is well positioned with the networks, people and expertise to help make a difference now and into the future for so many of these affected students but this requires some higher level thinking on behalf of the MoE and strategic planning and support.

Here is the VLN Community response:

“The VLN Community is working now to increase capacity in all our existing online classes as well as exploring how new classes and online learning support can be put in place to take more of our displaced students. There are a number of teachers who have indicated their willingness to support these students with keeping up with their learning, some who are even willing to do this in their own time. With some increased staffing from the MoE there is quite a pool of experienced eteachers that can come online and offer learning opportunities for these kids. The VLN Community can give professional support for teachers who want to connect with their students online by assisting them with accessing and using online tools available to them through the MoE.”

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