New Zealand’s Catholic bishops and the New Zealand Catholic Education Office have written to the families of pupils attending Catholic schools, urging them to contact the education/school office at their local diocese if they have problems paying attendance dues because of issues related to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The letter says the bishops are “mindful of the challenges many people in our community are facing” and “understand the anxiety for parents and caregivers created by a loss of employment or other challenges of caring for children at home”.
The bishops noted that work is being done to ensure the community is supported during this period, and that students are not further challenged by a need to look for a new school as a result of financial hardship.
“Our schools offer strong pastoral care, which is the foundation of our Catholic faith, and is particularly important in times of upheaval, such as when many educators and students are having to adjust to distance learning. We want to ensure all those currently enrolled in Catholic schools are able to remain at their school of choice,” the letter stated.
It continued: “The New Zealand Catholic Education Office and our diocesan leadership teams have given Catholic school proprietors an appraisal of the challenges parents are likely to face as a result of the impacts of Covid-19. They are looking at ways we can support the cost of attendance dues for parents who have a loss of income or other hardship. Work is being done to ensure that our community is supported during this period, and that students are not further challenged by a need to look for a new school as a result of financial hardship.”
The bishops commended Catholic school families, staff and communities for their “creative and faith-filled response during this time”.
“We are inspired by how schools have worked to ensure the continued learning and spiritual formation of students. We look forward to continuing to support our community to remain part of the Catholic education family.”
The bishops also stated that they are remembering Catholic school families, staff and communities in their prayers.