A video of a presentation by Garry Williams during the fourth plenary of the 2016 People in Disasters Conference. Williams is the Programme Manager of the Ministry of Education's Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme. The presentation is titled, "Education Renewal: A section response to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake".
The abstract for this presentation reads as follows:
The Canterbury earthquakes caused a disaster recovery situation unparalleled in New Zealand's history. In addition to widespread damage to residential dwellings and destruction of Christchurch's central business district, the earthquakes damaged more than 200 schools from Hurunui in the north, to the Mackenzie District in the east, and Timaru in the south. The impact on education provision was substantial, with the majority of early childhood centres, schools and tertiary providers experiencing damage or subsequent, with the majority of early childhood centres, schools and tertiary providers experiencing damage or subsequent operational issues caused by the ensuing migration of people. Following the February earthquake, over 12,000 students had left the school they had been attending and enrolled elsewhere - often at a school outside the region. Shortened school days and compression of teaching into short periods meant shift-sharing students engaged in the curriculum being delivered in more diverse ways. School principals and staff reported increased fatigue and stress and changes in student behaviours, often related to repeated exposure to and ongoing reminders of the trauma of the earthquakes. While there has been a shift from direct, trauma-related presentations to the indirect effects of psychological adversity and daily life stresses, international experiences tells us that psychological recovery generally lags behind the immediate physical recovery and rebuilding. The Ministries of Health and Education and the Canterbury District Health Board have developed and implemented a joint action plan to address specifically the emerging mental health issues for youth in Canterbury. However, the impact of vulnerable and stressed adults on children's behaviour contributes to the overall impact of ongoing wellbeing issues on the educational outcomes for the community. There is substantial evidence supporting the need to focus on adults' resilience so they can support children and youth. Much of the Ministry's work around supporting children under stress is through supporting the adults responsible for teaching them and leading their schools. The education renewal programme exists to assist education communities to rebuild and look toward renewal. The response to the earthquakes provides a significant opportunity to better meet the needs and aspirations of children and youth people. All the parents want to see their children eager to learn, achieving success, and gaining knowledge and skills that will, in time, enable them to become confident, adaptable, economically independent adults. But this is not always the case, hence our approach to education renewal seeks to address inequities and improve outcome, while prioritising actions that will have a positive impact on learners in greatest need of assistance.