Coronavirus Covid 19: Napier New Horizon College English School to Close, New Zealand’s First Education Victim of the Virus
New Horizon College students with tutor Paul Lishman in 2016; the college is the first educational victim of the coronavirus pandemic in New Zealand and will close next month. Photo / Hawke’s Bay Today, File
The Covid-19 pandemic has called for its first New Zealand educational scalp – a Napier language school.
Nouvel Horizon College, Hawke’s Bay’s only stand-alone English school, will close on May 29 after 32 years.
Ewen Mackenzie-Bowie, director of the Auckland based company ICL Education Group who bought the college in 2012, said the number of students had declined even before the virus, from around 50 to around 20 or 30.
“We’ve been dying of it for quite a long time because the numbers have steadily dropped over the past two years and we just felt it was no longer sustainable,” he said.
“With the added pressure of the virus, we could see it was going to change business everywhere. That’s what pushed us to the limit.”
However, New Zealand has so far avoided the massive layoffs at private educational institutions that have already started overseas.
Feroz Ali, who owns schools in Canada as well as New Zealand jurisdiction and that of Auckland Whitecliffe School of Art, said his Vancouver school had taken in several hundred students from other collapsed schools.
“We have seen hundreds, if not thousands of schools lay off staff in Canada and around the world,” he said.
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New Zealand’s largest private tertiary supplier, Education (formerly the tertiary branch of ACG), said only “a few” of its 1,200 employees have been made redundant.
“There are staff at the front desk, there is no work to do, we cannot redeploy them, and there are campuses where we might in fact decide not to reopen if it lasts for a period of time. extended, âsaid Up CEO Mark Rushworth.
He said the number of layoffs was over 10, but declined to give a specific number.
Up Education also put all staff on 80 percent of their regular wages and 80 percent of regular hours.
âOur tutors typically do 20 hours of teaching and 20 hours of class preparation and marking,â Rushworth said.
“We asked them to do 20 hours of teaching and 12 hours of marking and class preparation.”
All of the teaching has moved online. The company loaned computers and paid for the Internet at home for 200 of its 5,000 students who did not have their own devices and the Internet, paying for mobile data plans to give students a “hotspot” to the Internet. from their cell phones.
Surprisingly, going online has resulted in a 25% increase in the number of requests from students wishing to enroll in Up’s. Yoobee Colleges creative design from areas where there are no physical campuses, so Rushworth said the lectures would continue to be broadcast live for these distant students even when the campuses reopen.
âIn the longer term, this means that we are going to see a fundamental change in the way education is delivered,â he said.
All of the private tertiary providers who spoke to the Herald said the NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) had expedited approvals for online delivery to New Zealand-based students.
However, those who have applied to teach courses to students abroad are still awaiting approval, as the NZQA is examining the issues involved.
âWe have 58 students in China studying online with us, and when the borders open they will descend to New Zealand,â Rushworth said.
“But it’s hard to recruit a student and teach abroad when you don’t know when the borders are going to reopen and what happens to post-graduate work rights in that environment.”
Paul Chalmers from Auckland Newton College of Business and Technology proposed that students who do, say, the first six months of their online studies abroad, and then finish their course in New Zealand, should be able to count those six months abroad for their employment rights after graduation. ‘graduation.
Darren Conway from International Languages said language schools would be “wiped out” if borders remained closed, but he believes foreign students would still come even if they have to be quarantined for the first two weeks.
“It is important for everyone to find a model for controlled reopening of the border,” he said.
Craig Musson from Christchurch National Academy of Commerce said he was still receiving applications from the Philippines for worker training courses for dairy farms.
Brijesh Sethi from New Zealand School of Education, who chairs the sector group Quality tertiary establishments, said many institutes are planning to transfer education from international students to domestic students, the number of which usually increases in times of high unemployment.
“We are considering transferring more staff to computer courses,” he said. “PTE [private training establishments] are much more flexible and quick to respond to the market. “
ICL’s Mackenzie-Bowie said international students who signed up for English classes to continue their university education would be ready to be quarantined for two weeks.
But he said a quarantine period would drive out students who enroll in short four- to eight-week English courses combined with visiting the country – a mainstay of many schools such as New Horizon College.
“They are going to find themselves in dire straits very quickly and we are worried about their future,” he said.
Learn Hawke’s Bay, which markets 20 Hawke’s Bay schools to international students, said he hoped the five New Horizon staff would find new jobs at other schools.
â¢ Official advice: covid19.govt.nz.