School leaders from the Trans Pacific Union Mission report on how their schools have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19.
Betikama Adventist College (BAC), Solomon Islands
Teachers and ancillary staff and their families remained on campus during the lockdown. They felt that Betikama was their safest place to be.
The college administration looked for ways to pull together as a team to support each other. Activities were held to bring support and comfort to everyone. The church organised 50 Days of Prayer readings for each morning and evening and two weekends of fasting and prayer. Working bees were held at the college farms, dormitories, campus and staff gardens. Where possible, the college organised get-together meals to sustain all families on campus facing difficulties with food supplies. Seeing an opportunity to help, the BAC Alumni, under the leadership of Jillian Tutuo, James Bauro and Ronelle Panda, organised a donation-in-kind for the ancillary staff, which was gratefully received.
While at home the students were encouraged by their parents to do home readings, journalling and basic arithmetic. Now back at school, they are learning about maintaining social distancing and the importance of personal hygiene practices. Students are expected to come to school with at least two face masks, soap and sanitiser.—Partinson Bekala
Solomon Islands Mission Education office
Coronavirus has brought in a new reality for school children, parents, churches and a team of education specialists comprising Mission education department officers, principals and teachers who evaluated how to continue children’s learning.
Among the benefits of the new ways of teaching and learning:
- parents, community, church, and teachers teamed up to give their quality time and undivided support to the wholistic development of the individual children
- students felt affirmed and valued by their community
- all students learned life-long skills and values that will prepare them to be resilient in whatever situations they may encounter
- parents and community experts have been able to pass on indigenous skills and worthy values that are disappearing at alarming rates
- writing, reading and language skills have been taught through children writing and retelling their stories to their teachers
Beulah Adventist College, Tonga