April 23, 2020
Kohanga Reo says too risky to reopen
Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust is advising kōhanga reo to remain closed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
Chief executive Angus Hartley says whānau should take an extra precautionary approach and not risk the health and wellbeing of their vulnerable pakeke, kaumatua and mokopuna.
He says advice from the Ministries of Education and Health about reopening schools and early childhood education is not consistent with the risk profile that exists at kōhanga reo, where over a third of kaimahi fall into high-risk groups.
He says social distancing doesn’t work in that context.
"You can’t tell a two, three-year-old, 'you've got to keep your distance.' They're there to play. They're there to learn, they learn through their reo, they learn through play, they learn through that interaction. That's the hardest part. How do you tell a young mokopuna you can't engage that way," Mr Hartley says.
Mr Hartley says for that kohanga reo that choose not to reopen, the trust will continue with its daily Facebook live sessions for mokopuna and their whānau.
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