Auckland schools are planning extra tutorials at weekends and in the October school holidays for senior students who have lost two weeks of classes in the city's latest Covid-19 lockdown.
Students enrolled for the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are calling for extra tutorials and more opportunities to resubmit work for NCEA credits after the lockdown.
Auckland Secondary Schools Principals Association president Steve Hargreaves says teachers are already planning extra tutorials and will push for more changes if the city's level 3 restrictions continue beyond the current planned end date of August 26.
"We are not pushing for anything yet, but if it goes beyond next Wednesday then I think we'll have some issues," he said.
"It will probably require some after-hours tutorials and probably the use of the holidays too."
At his own school, Macleans College, he said the head of a faculty that includes portfolio subjects such as art, graphics and technology is already planning tutorials after school, on weekends and in the holidays.
"There's a lot of goodwill amongst the staff. That's how the school system operates," he said.
The starting date of this year's NCEA exams has already been pushed back 10 days to November 16, the credits required for Merit and for University Entrance have been reduced, and students have been given one bonus credit for every five credits that they earn.
Western Springs College Year 13 student Maia McRoberts said more changes should be considered for Auckland students because of the regional lockdown.
"It's quite unfair circumstances, because Auckland students are expected to learn at the same rate as all the other students in the country," she said.
She said Auckland students should be able to get NCEA based on "deemed grades" from their previous work, especially if they did not have home internet during the lockdown.
Taa Ramsay Vili, head boy of James Cook High School in Manurewa, said it was difficult to study at home because of distractions.
"Not being able to be in an environment where I can focus purely on my education is hard," he said.
"Personally, I don't believe that decreasing the [required] credits just for Auckland is the right move, but I do believe there has to be support such as extra opportunities to get credits and extra tutoring."
Aorere College head girl Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i said students who have had to get part-time jobs to support their families should be given NCEA credits for the skills they have learnt in work.
McAuley High School Year 13 student Theresa Viane said it was hard to maintain energy for schoolwork outside the classroom.
"School is just more suitable for my learning," she said. "Personally I'm like real scared that I might not be able to pass."
Brian Khomkomphut, a Year 13 student at another Auckland school, said his teachers were not running online classes but just put instructions on Google Classroom.
"There are teachers available for us to contact but there are no proper lessons so we are really behind right now," he said.
The Ministry of Education said 41 of Auckland's 130 secondary schools have been given approval to bring back Years 12 and 13 students under level 3 restrictions, but Hargreaves said only small numbers were being invited back for practical subjects.
"On Monday we have graphics students coming in," he said.
"I've had requests from other teachers to do it for geography and media studies and across the board, but that would be quite difficult to manage within the restrictions."
Aorere College principal Greg Pierce said most South Auckland schools had decided against letting any Years 12 and 13 students back yet because the latest Covid outbreak is centred in the area.
"The community appears to be more stressed, mainly due to the community outbreak being on their doorstep," he said.
"If Auckland students are still under level 3 the week after next, I think Auckland-specific measures regarding assessment may be required."
NZ Qualifications Authority deputy chief executive Kristine Kilkelly said practice online NCEA exams due to start on August 31 are still going ahead at this stage.
"If Covid-19 alert level conditions permit, then NCEA online practice examinations will go ahead in all exam centres that are able to host. At this stage, the plan is to proceed as normal," she said.
"If any more changes are needed, we'll work with the sector to make sure students will have a fair opportunity to achieve NCEA, while also protecting the integrity of the qualification."