COVID-19 outbreaks in greater Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra have forced schools to close, with students now required to do their school work from home.
That became a problem for 17-year-old Eusenia Tupuola Teo, a Year 12 student at Cabramatta High School in Sydney’s south-west.
The 17-year-old said, initially, she and her two siblings were having to share two computers between the three of them, which made learning difficult.
“It was a challenge,” Ms Tupuola Teo said.
Luckily, her school stepped in and provided Year 12 students with laptops and internet devices, so they could keep up with the online learning requirements.
She’s not alone. Many Pasifika students have faced difficulties transitioning to online learning according to Cabramatta High School community liaison officer, Whitney Tavu’i-leota.
In her role, Ms Tavu’i-leota has been communicating with students and their families to ensure remote learning needs are being met, doing welfare checks and tracking students’ progress.
“Some of them are living with big families. So trying to find a quiet learning space available to them [can be difficult],” she said.
“A few of my students have had difficulty trying to find the balance between you know, when to work when to help mum and play with the siblings.
Ms Tavu’i-leota has also been helping Pacific Islander parents with the new remote learning systems.
“Some of my parents have, you know, told me that they're a bit concerned, because they don't know what to what to expect and what they should be looking out for,” she said.
“It's just giving them the reassurance that like, you know, as long as we're communicating between the school, and what's happening at home, then it should be a good balance.”
Ms Tavu’i-leota, who has Samoan and Polish heritage, said she could sympathise with Pasifika families.
Since the most recent lockdown, she’s also been working from home in a household of 10 people, including herself.
“My house can get pretty chaotic on some days and I do have like little humans that want to come in and occupy my time,” she said.
“I do find it challenging, trying to focus on my workload, as well as trying to be an auntie and separating the boundaries a little bit.
“It's just working progress, you’ve just go try and find that balance.
“That's something that I've told my students many times and my families, [that] I'm finding it a little bit hard. So it's okay, we're all in this together.”