Foreword: As we head into the start of a new decade, VMA faces an unprecedented challenge in dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic that is spreading across the world. We were severely impacted at the start of the New Year as teachers and students headed back to their hometowns for the holidays. What happened next was shy of a miracle, as we were immediately transitioned into a fully online school course which left the students and teachers interacting primarily online over the next few months. This unprecedented move towards online schooling left us with a set of new challenges and opportunities which we look forward to facing in the coming years.
To get us ready for returning back to VMA, we’re preparing for 3 major steps that can prepare us for the future.
Safety and security first
The first is to focus on dealing with the health and safety of our students as we re-enter our school. Saying that, we’re taking all precautionary measures from having stations at our front gate for temperature checks as well as ensuring that lunching at the canteen with safe social distancing guidelines are made clearly. Another thing we want to focus on is providing the sense and security for our students to know that we are there for them both academically and emotionally. To this end, our Student Wellness Center is working closely in creating social support for students who are going through a tough time during this pandemic period. In addition, our teachers who are on campus are also fully ready to work with students in supporting them academically for their finals as they head back to school.
Learning autonomy to teachers & students
When it comes to the teaching & learning process, we are planning to provide students with the options to choose when and where they learn. As we head back to campus, we know that not all students will be returning immediately due to their geographic restrictions or choice. Thus, we will start building in flexibilities for students and teachers to be able to work abroad, in their homes as we bridge the gap (also, because some of our teachers are still stuck abroad). The idea of personalizing the learning pace and content for students is one that will be of priority when we return. We want our students to grasp new knowledge through synchronous and asynchronous sessions which will be designed by our teachers. Lastly, data driven support will allow our teachers to better capture and review student’s performances through online assessments and portfolios collected during our online sessions. This has been done and will continue on in our school throughout the future.
Towards a blended learning model
Looking forward into the future, VMA is starting to plan out the future of a blended learning model including both online and offline strategies in case of another outbreak or disaster. The COVID 19 pandemic has taught us a thing or two about dealing with crisis. We are now better equippedthan before to prepare for whatever comes our way as we can now strategize the best platforms and tools to support our teachers in creating more streamlinedlearning paths for online and offline learning.
The future awaits and it is our hope that VMA will learn from the lessons of this pandemic and be ready to face the brave new world of tomorrow.