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Otago Polytechnic Adds ‘old-school’ Approach To Student Support

Otago Polytechnic’s ongoing efforts to support its learners now include additional measures - "old-school" distractions such as board games, books and playing cards.

"We have implemented a wide range of measures to ensure the health and safety of learners, now that Covid-19 has a more active presence in our community," says Dr Megan Gibbons, Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic.

"As well as providing food, medicines, sanitary items and other important domestic supplies, we are mindful that we need to support our learners’ mental and social wellbeing.

"A key part of this is looking at ways to help keep them entertained while in isolation, beyond them binge-watching various television series.

"We are asking our generous staff to donate board games, novels, packs of cards, magazines etc. These will then be distributed by our service teams and additional staff who have volunteered to reach out to learners.

"We would like to donate any such items to our learners in Te Pā Tauira-Otago Polytechnic Student Village as well as in flats and homes.

"Our focus at this time is to ensure that any person who is isolating is ok, has access to what they need, and has good support around them," Dr Gibbons says.

"We have teams who will continue to monitor their wellbeing and connect with them daily.

"We acknowledge this is a stressful time. We urge any students who feel scared or anxious, have questions or need support in any way, to contact our Student Support teams. Likewise, we urge staff to utilize our support systems."

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