Kia ora whanau,
The wider BTI community of staff and students is around 400 people. We want each of you to know that your health and safety is our priority, that we pray with and for you in these uncertain times, that we believe in the goodness, greatness and sovereignty of God at all times, in all seasons and in all places, and that because we have trust that God is with us through it all [do watch Andrae Crouch and Cece Winans remind us of this wonderful truth], we can have the peace that passes all understanding in a world that is in chaos.
Covid-19 is having a noticeable impact of how we live, work and be together. It’s requiring us to be selfless, to think of others before ourselves, to be responsible for our own actions and interactions, especially around those who are most vulnerable to contracting this virus. Today the government has told New Zealanders not to travel anywhere overseas. If you feel unwell, stay home. If you’ve been travelling overseas recently or near those who have, self-isolate and practice social distancing seriously. Wash hands often. Be kind to one another. The most reliable information about Covid-19 is https://covid19.govt.nz/ - please use that as the authoritative source.
BTI’s executive leadership team is now meeting daily as we seek to lead with God’s strength, wisdom and courage, to problem-solve and to communicate frequently with you. We recognise that this rapidly changing environment is impacting our staff, students, whanau and friends, and our need to respond wisely, pray often, and support each other.
We are actively exploring innovative uses of technology to support our students in practicums, for assessments, and on intensives.
We are in regular contact with relevant government agencies and professional bodies to ensure our students aren’t too disadvantaged.
We are and remain open until we are advised otherwise. If we have to, BTI is ready to operate remotely, deliver all our teaching by distance, and continue to provide the best Christ-centred education that we can. I am very grateful for the innovation, responsiveness and agility demonstrated by the BTI team who are working very hard to ensure the ongoing success and support of our students and functions of our institute.
We recognise this is an anxious time for many. If students want someone to talk with please contact your cohort mentor (in the School of Teacher Education) or student support team (in the School of Social Practice) who will gladly work with you.
Yesterday I wrote that “advice today could be obsolete tomorrow” which has proved to be true. The government’s new advice about mass gatherings and social distancing now means that our May graduation ceremony cannot proceed as planned. We feel sad about that, but want to reassure you that students will be sent their certificates directly and, all other things considered, there will be a graduation ceremony in September where we can celebrate students’ success with friends, whanau and each other. We will be in touch with more details about that closer to the time.
He aha te mea nui o te ao.
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.