1 Sep 2020

Covid-19 updates from New Zealand and around the world on 1 September

5:34 pm on 1 September 2020

Some schools in South Auckland are once again half empty today as many students remain at home.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has been urging parents to send their children to school, saying there's no good reason to keep them away.

Greg Pierce is the principal at Aorere College in Papatoetoe and chair of the AimHi group that involves nine low-decile schools in South Auckland.

He told Midday Report that the pattern of low attendance has continued today. Attendance rates were "less than it was when students returned from the previous lockdown".

Over the two days in level 2, three Auckland schools have averaged about 50 percent attendance, he says. But some schools have recorded 80 percent attendance on the second day or both days.

Pierce says it was a complex situation considering the cases popping up in South Auckland.

"The families and whānau are at a higher level of stress than previously, again this is coming off the back of the measles epidemic."

He says last week, meetings with the minister and Associate Minister of health and education Jenny Salesa were conducted with principals and board chairs to reinforce the message Pacific community leaders needed to be vocal in supporting the return of students.

"Teachers are very stressed, they want the best outcome for their students."

He says some schools were even considering whether some senior students will need to return to Term 1 to complete qualifications if they aren't able to do so this year.

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