In the year 2020, the world shut down, and our lives changed forever with the COVID-19 pandemic moving its way across the globe. Families were forced to stay at home, parents began remote working, and children went online for school.
The pandemic news created a wave of responses from the community we serve
As a primary school for 2-11 year olds, we knew that when the government of Uganda made the decision to lock us down for 60 days, schooling would be challenging. It was not a surprise to us that everyone in our community was nervous about learning new ways of working and that many questions were asked: How would we ensure all children had internet access? Are there enough devices to go around? Do we really want our 3-year-olds on a screen all day? What if I am working, I cannot teach and work simultaneously?
It was the biggest challenge we have faced in our years as educationalists and pedagogists; everything we knew, believed in and loved about teaching children suddenly became a very different reality. Whilst our Google classroom platform assisted us with solving a lot of difficulties and kept us connected with the children, we knew from the word GO that online learning is simply just a very difficult concept for most children in their early and primary years.
“In Crisis, it is acceptable to have more questions than answers. In crisis there’s no room for ‘not invented here’. In crisis we should all be learners” – OECD
In August 2020, the Government announced a continued school shutdown across Uganda. The Ambrosoli team knew that we had to challenge our thinking and widen our perspectives when learning to develop new concepts for learning that met the needs of our children whilst keeping everyone safe and engaged. By offering a blended learning program with a hybrid learning model, we were able to meet the needs of all of our learners through hub and online learning. Here are just some of the ways in which we learnt during the pandemic, we think the pictures speak for themselves!