It has been a busy few months for schools as they work to catch up after ten months of school closures in 2020. The government put in place a new academic calendar, designed to ensure 'lost time' is made up.
School and families continue to battle the pandemic, whilst learning hangs in the balance. Some children who have successfully made it back to school are learning under trees, with little social distancing and limited supplies of everything from masks to desks.
As children have returned to school, the Dignitas team have supported partner schools to prioritise children's learning and well-being. We've been supporting school leaders and teachers with training and coaching for new competencies and resources to allow them to carefully manage the period of school reopening and recovery.
The training was delivered virtually and accompanied by in-person, school-based coaching support (as allowed by public health guidance) over a period of 6 months. Dignitas delivered support to 101 schools across our cohorts in Nairobi and beyond. The training and coaching was designed to:
Provide leaders with specific instructional leadership competencies to ensure safe reopening of schools, and learning recovery.
Equip teachers with accelerated learning strategies with the aim of bringing all learners to the expected level quickly and efficiently, hailed by the World Bank as a ‘smart buy’ for education.
Based on our lessons learned in 2020, and the growing global rallying call for socio-emotional learning to be given priority, we have also placed content on Learner Well-Being at the core of our Learner Engagement strategy. We recognize that, for this to be possible, we also have to prioritize teacher well-being and a series of modules will focus on just that, in the hope that by supporting teacher well-being, we not only ensure educators approach teaching with the right mindset, but that school and classroom culture is healthy and nurturing.
Based on lessons learned from 2020, school leaders will gain new competencies that will equip them to engage parents and caregivers as key partners in learning, extending a healthy learning and teaching culture beyond the school compound.
Finally, to curb the impact of future disruptions to learning, we also worked to equip all school leaders with competencies that will enhance their integration of technology for learning and management, and emergency remote and blended learning.
The Dignitas team recognizes that children can only learn, thrive and succeed at school when their school leaders and teacher leaders are empowered, equipped and supported to lead in a way that nurtures vibrant learning environments. Our partnership with schools for School Reopening and Recovery ensured that thriving school leaders lead impactful teams of teachers who will transform opportunities for the next generation.
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