One of the recurring themes across public discussions in different forums and media over the last three to six weeks has been the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected the world we live in. These discussions are particularly significant because for the first time in our lifetimes the whole world has been brought to a stop, with a lot of, if not all, economic activity being brought to a standstill. Mpawo atalikaaba – there is hardly a person that has not been affected by this major world crisis.
Times like these are not only unprecedented but can also be a source of great anxiety for families as they navigate unfamiliar circumstances, to ensure that they are able to continue providing as normal a life as they can for their children; whilst at the same time figuring out what cost centers must be shaved off to allow for the family’s resources to go as far as they possibly can in sustaining the family’s most basic needs.
We share in this anxiety and send out hope, courage and strength to all our families, in the various circumstances that they find themselves in, during this difficult time.
These times of anxiety that every family faces are not unique to the families but are also indeed a reality for our very young school. As a school we have therefore had to make some very tough but decisive choices about the future and sustainability of our school, putting a hold on some of our most dear and desired development projects as a matter of prudence, until further notice.
Like a lioness will do whatever it takes to protect its cubs, so shall we fight to ensure that when this dark cloud that is COVID-19 finally rises, the North Green School shall be standing strong and continuing on its journey to be a source of greatness for many young learners.
The Online School Initiative has meant that the school has had to and will continue, over the next couple of months, to invest in the infrastructure and expertise necessary to run an efficient and intentional learning program; that will adequately cover the areas of learning that our students would have covered if they were attending school physically.
We have not embarked on this goal lightly, and are fully aware of the challenges and amount of effort and hard work that it will require of us, as a school; you the parents, as well as the children; to adopt and adapt to a whole suite of new systems to which we may have no prior exposure.
As we have communicated in the past, even if our physical school were to be opened tomorrow, what we have experienced must remain a lesson to us. Never again, shall we be a school that is bound by the walls of our buildings.
We must harness all the available resources that the internet makes possible, to ensure that at the drop of a hat, our children can stay at home and continue learning as if they were at school. We have purposed to come out of this experience better than we went into it, because at the heart of who we are, is a resilient and irrepressible school.
A school that takes the responsibility to be the first to live up to the expectations of its tagline. A school that is creative; pursues high achievement always and in all ways; a school that is tenacious; and above all, a school that Keeps on Moving, no matter what the circumstances.
Our Online School website project is the first in many of the changes that we have had to adopt in a really short time. We pray that you will find it useful as a guide for how you can bring some sanity, consistency and routine to our young learners during this period, when they are unable to come to their physical school.
However, it is also our prayer that this initiative will be more than a relief remedy; but that together, we will build it into our culture of daily learning. Only then, if it becomes a part of our normal life, will it be a meaningful back up plan. A plan that will guarantee that never again, in the very long future of our school, shall we be beholden to our buildings, because schools are not about buildings. They are about so much more.
And now, we have the opportunity to test that. We have never been more excited about a challenge as we are now, so welcome to this endeavour. May you embrace it with the same enthusiasm that we have.
We look forward to learning many new things together.