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School closures an after-shock

School closures an after-shock for teachers, parents and students, UC education head says

February 18, 2013

Just four days short of the second anniversary of the February 22 earthquake, Christchurch principals, teachers, students and parents are facing emotional pressure with the announcement of school closures, University of Canterbury Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Niki Davis said today.

Professor Davis said for teachers and school staff there was significant emotional attachment to schools and being forced to walk away from a school would be difficult for many people.

``There are 215 schools in total in the Christchurch area and 31 have been affected by these changes, with seven closures and 12 mergers.

``These school closures are basically an after-shock of the earthquake. Teachers and pupils have huge emotional attachments to their schools, and I can well understand how upset people will be at these decisions. It is worth noting there are 216 schools in total in the Christchurch area.

``At the UC College of Education, we can fully understand that sentiments are running high in Christchurch schools today. We deal with schools not only in Christchurch but all over New Zealand on a daily basis and our thoughts go out to our friends and colleagues in these schools.

``We have people here who can offer advice, counselling and support for those that need it.

``Children in Christchurch have gone through a lot in the last two years. It will be tough on them and communities affected to learn of school closures.

``Dramatic changes are painful but they can also provide opportunities for teachers and students looking towards a better future for the whole region. We will be supporting them as will our students, including those who are teachers in the future,’’ Professor Davis said.

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