(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Staff at day care centers and after-school care facilities should be the first to be offered the vaccine, especially as a more contagious variant of the coronavirus circulates, said the Swiss Child Care Association, Kibesuisse.
This content is published on 23 January 2021 – 12:57 23 January 2021 – 12:57 RTS / swissinfo.ch / gw
The childcare service system is seen as vital to the economy as it ensures the welfare of children and helps working parents – but during the pandemic it has been ignored by authorities, the umbrella organization said in a press release on Friday.
Kibesuisse said vaccinating childcare workers early would help the sector avoid staff shortages due to quarantine measures or disease. This demands, as the teacher federation has done for its staff, that childcare personnel are next in line for vaccines after risk groups and health care workers.
“We are talking about the positive developments of the youngest in our society and about supporting the Swiss economy,” Michele Kaufmann Meyer of Kibesuisse told Swiss public radio RTS. “Parents who can’t send their children to daycare cannot go to work.”
Compensation for parents
The association also asks authorities to offer financial compensation to parents who choose not to send their children to child care facilities as a way to ease the burden on child care, and parents who may eventually need to seek alternatives when these facilities become understaffed and can no longer accept their demands.
More or less one third children in Switzerland – between 180,000 and 200,000 – attend the crèche, according to estimates from the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Social Affairs.
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Alumna Teina Havea celebrated success at a recent celebration in honor of the Pacific Graduate. Image / Provided.
On-campus support services are essential for Pacific students as Covid creates new challenges.
Joseph Foon feels for international students trying to adapt to life in New Zealand – especially in the face of the circumstances that Covid-19 presents in 2020.
A third-year Bachelor of Business Studies student at Massey University’s Manawatū campus, Foon came to New Zealand to study from Fiji at the age of 18 in 2018.
Apart from being a distant cousin from his mother’s side, he didn’t know anyone here. “I have very little money, can’t afford textbooks; it’s a struggle to adapt not only to the university, but in New Zealand in general,” he said.
So he has immense sympathy for the hardships experienced by Pacific students who came to study in the months before the pandemic hit. Due to travel restrictions, most were unable to return home on vacation and those new to New Zealand “became very homesick.”
While Foon has finally settled down well after leveraging some of the many existing services and support systems to help Pacific, Māori and Massey-oriented international students, his experiences motivated him to help others in return.
Earlier this year – the final year of her studies – she took on a student advisory role at Manatoa, a campus-based Pacific tutoring and leadership program. He has up to four students under his responsibility offering tutoring primarily in weekly online meetings.
“I know what it feels like to struggle, especially in your first year,” he said. “I was asked if I would like to help and I am happy to do it. I think student-to-student support is very important because we are at their level and like friends.”
Foon has finished his studies – he majored in finance – but believes that without the support he received after joining the Pasifika club on campus, he would not have achieved high graduation scores.
Through the club she learns about scholarships available to promising students facing financial hardship. He applied successfully and was able to buy new books and laptops.
“That’s very helpful,” he said. “Things were difficult in my first year. The weather was colder than at home, the technology was different, I had problems with the way people spoke and had difficulty understanding New Zealand slang.”
Siata Tavite, Associate Director for Pacific at Massey Business School said there are about 400 Pacific students at the school. He said without a support structure like Manatoa many were in danger of falling through the cracks and dropping out of school or being delayed from enrolling in the first place. “Unlike schools, there is no attendance at the university, there are no teachers to check it; it’s up to students,” he said.
Tavite said the challenges posed by Covid-19 were particularly difficult for many students and highlighted why an important support option was available: “This (Covid) is creating big changes, especially for students studying on campus who expect to come face-to-face with their tutors.”
He said events outside the university had an impact too. One example is the case of a Pacific student who had to cut her study time because her parents and in-laws lost their jobs during the first lockdown.
“He was forced to find work on his own to help her, but didn’t tell anyone. When we found out he was out of his mind worried about how he would continue his studies.”
Tavite said with support the students were allowed to restart in the second semester, while fees that were applicable for the first semester were refunded.
“Without a support mechanism, he may not achieve satisfactory results,” he said. “His example shows how at times like pandemics, Māori and Pacific communities pose a higher risk to both their health and their livelihoods.”
In addition to the Manatoa mentoring program, a number of other support systems are available for Maori and Pacific students at Massey. This includes teams of Pacific students and learning advisers, orientation and social events, spiritual support, dedicated student lounges, Pacific student associations, Māori and Pacific librarians.
The Promising Business School Student Aid Fund is available for students facing financial difficulties. Founded in 2016, they are funded by school development funds with Māori, Pacific and international students respectively.
School graduates with leadership potential are also eligible for the Business School Future Leaders Scholarships, at least a quarter of which are intended to provide support for Māori and Pacific students.
Meanwhile, the Te Punaha Matatini research center, which brings together New Zealand’s leading researchers in physics, economics and biology (among other disciplines), says the young Māori and Pacific population is a demographic boon: ” re-post-Covid. Sustained investments in their potential will not only benefit more broadly and in the future, but will also prove future regional economies. “
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that eliminating existing class-based divisions in the country’s education sector was the government’s top priority at the moment.
The uniform education system is not only a necessity of modern times but also a basic right of every child, he added.
The prime minister expressed this view while chairing a meeting here on the uniform curriculum.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Federal Education and Professional Education Shafqat Mehmood, Minister of Education of Punjab Province Murad Ras, Minister of Higher Education of Punjab Province Yasir Humayun, Minister of Education of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Province Shehram Tarkai, Parliament Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education Mohtarma Wajiha Ikram and senior officers.
The prime minister said the new generation should fully realize the life and sunnah of the Prophet (s) because “Hazrat Muhammad is the only role model for us and His Sunnah is a beacon of light for us”.
He emphasized that the National Education Policy in addition to bringing an increase in the quality of education will also empower all levels of society and provide equal opportunities.
However, the prime minister added that the success of the system depends on the selection of teaching staff and increasing their capacity.
He said that the new policy would enable quality education in Pakistan, while the uniform education system would serve as a role model for other countries in the region to follow suit.
Federal Minister Shafqat Mehmood said at the meeting that the introduction of a uniform curriculum at the national level aims to foster students’ analytical and creative abilities.
Apart from promoting curricular education and Pakistanism, the new system also aims to equip students with golden principles such as honesty, justice, tolerance, respect, mutual harmony, awareness of the environment, democracy, human rights, sustainable development and self-defense. .
The meeting emphasized the need for character building of students to be given special attention in the uniform education system.
During the meeting it was informed that the new curriculum has been formulated with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will be implemented in all public and private schools and religious seminaries across the country.
“The promotion of Islamic teachings, Islam will be taught as a separate subject in the curriculum from grades 1 to 12. For minority students subjects have been introduced to separate subjects, namely religious education which will be taught in Grade One,” said the meeting.
The meeting also discussed that the focus of uniform curricular education is to equip students with contemporary needs and in that the consultation process with all stakeholders has been completed.