Because some people like to watch the world learn
The little wise man, Kenja 賢者, as they say in Japan, observes a lot, reflects a lot, and then nods in satisfaction. Why? Because some people like to watch the world learn. There are so many lessons to learn from the trauma of COVID-19.
Celebrating in March
The other day Kenja visited a school and there was a celebration going on. Music, song, cheers, celebration. Celebration to commemorate the 23rd March, a very important day if you are a Pakistani.
We learn to adapt
We’ve been waiting for the happy noise of learning. Schools are following the hybrid routine: attending face to face classes on alternate days from Monday to Thursday and exclusively online on Fridays. Conducting events in the hybrid model allows teachers to connect with students and their parents in new ways. The focused, direct interaction in smaller groups has improved students’ self-esteem and confidence and increased opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities.
Kenja notices they speak up more, ask more questions, and are more self-directed than they were before. As the little wise man goes around the campus, he hears some conversations in the library. The door has an attractive display: It’s Book O’ Clock. It is relatively dark in there. 50% students are present- the group B – In the Hybrid timetable it is their day today.
Connecting in new ways
They are connected via Pen Pals initiative with their peers in Russia. There are some language barriers but the young ones from Russia are prepared with pre-written text in English to support their interactions! Topic of discussion: The pandemic has disrupted our world and yours. Hope you are okay. Check-in please.
Children run through corridors to reach classes on time, and without stopping for a minute, swoosh past the hand sanitizing machines, taking a blob of hand sanitizer in one palm and rubbing vigorously with the other, as they reach their class.
Hope as we learn
There is hope. Around the world, locally rooted, globally informed leaders — teachers, social entrepreneurs, and policymakers — have innovated, mobilized resources, and brought communities together to keep students learning throughout the pandemic. In so doing, they have generated new possibilities that could pave the way to reimagining an education system that was already deeply inequitable and insufficient for today’s students and today’s aspirations.
Tomorrow is another day; another school. And a hybrid sports day! Have you heard of that ever before?
A kenja, Matsuo Bashō (1689)
Sado ni yokotau
the rough sea
stretching out towards Sado
the Milky Way
Afshan Khalid is an educationist and a certified counselor. She has studied English Literature, Psychology and Textile Designing. Trained as an evaluator from the New Zealand government department-Education Review Office, she has led more than 350 evaluations of Beaconhouse schools across Pakistan, Malaysia, Oman and UAE, giving her a rare opportunity to diversify her narrative by observing learning across cultures and contexts. She has also observed the Japanese system of education closely in different prefectures and learned from their good practices during her home stays in Tokyo, Giffu and Kyoto, Japan. Married to a pilot, with two fantastic kids, Afshan loves to connect with people and spread positivity.
Create Cultural Memories through Literature and Art