Continuity of study monitored, remote options engaged

The first Southern Institute of Technology Subsidiary Board meeting was held yesterday via videoconference, with directors learning the impact of Covid-19 on students’ learning.

It is a subsidiary of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology [NZIST], which had its first meeting on Wednesday.

Board chairwoman Alison Broad opened the meeting and noted there would have been about 15 "bubbles" of people connected, before chief executive Penny Simmonds provided an update on how things were operating during lockdown.

"The organisation feels like it is operating fairly well at an 80% to 90% capacity."

While some staff were not able to work remotely, most staff members could.

The majority of students were also able to continue to learn off-campus.

"We are continuing to monitor the engagement of students and have been asked to advise of any students without devices that enable them to continue studying."

She believed anyone without access to a device could be provided with one.

Students in SIT residential accommodation were being monitored and pastoral care staff were classed as essential to physically check on students in residences and remotely for international students not in SIT residences. There had been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 among staff or students, Ms Simmonds said.

Directors were also informed the NZIST council passed a Cash Reserves and Ring-fencing Policy at Wednesday’s meeting, which detailed whether assets would be kept within subsidiaries.

Director Barry Jordan said it "reinforces what we talked about before in terms of keeping all those assets in the subsidiaries of which they come across".

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