- Te Pararē
Opinion: Te Mana Ākonga student COVID-19 impact survey 3 weeks too late
Earlier [last] week TMA distributed a survey to help them understand the effects of Covid-19 lockdown on Māori students. TMA want to hear about the challenges Māori students have faced during this time and their hope is to use this as a tool to advocate for our needs. This is all well and good, something we would expect from the leaders of our National Māori Tertiary Students’ Association. The problem is however, this initiative is 3 weeks too late.
We are currently in week  of lockdown and will enter into level 2 within the next week. Moving into level 2 means that our tertiary institutions will reopen allowing students to enter onto campus and attend classes if they wish to do so. Step by step we are slowly heading back to pre Covid-19 life.
The survey is running until the 20th of May. TMA must then review and analyse the data, write a report AND THEN communicate any findings to whom they intend to communicate to. We’re looking at approximately 6 weeks until the completion of this initiative. By this time, students will have had their mid-year break and many of the effects of Covid-19 will have come and gone.
If TMA is looking for support from the government, who knows how long it will take to get any real support (if any). So what then is the point of a Covid-19 student impact survey if support will be arriving at a time when it is no longer needed?
An initiative such as this survey should have been rolled out within the first 3 weeks of lockdown when the effects of Covid-19 would have been at their peak. This also would have given TMA time to properly get an idea of what we need, and then to do something that might actually have an effect.
The bottom line is that TMA was late with this survey, and by only distributing now, they’re trying to mitigate the long term effects of something that isn’t going to be long term.
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