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Planning For An Unpredictable Future

POSTED: June 3, 2020Category: AISA ArticlesBY: Barnabas Suva

The prolific, COVID-19-driven challenges facing international schools in Africa are many and varied and as unpredictable as the virus itself. For schools to survive and grow in this rapidly shifting, uncertain environment, collaboration and communication are crucial. Heads of Schools and Boards have needed to speak to each other, share their stories and stay informed about the latest, up-to-date news both locally and from around the world.

The sudden, lockdown-enforced distance learning model which, in one form or another, will, without doubt, continue after schools reopen, is the biggest challenge to the traditional, campus-based school model. Parents, many of whom have been affected financially, have gained first-hand experience during the lockdown of what and how their children learn. Questions are being asked, doubts have been raised. The most successful schools will be those that are informed enough to have valid, compelling answers and agile enough to adapt to the new realities as they unfold.

This cannot be a ‘let’s wait and see’ situation. School leadership needs to continue to be open-minded and proactive. Scenario planning is imperative. Leaders must reimagine their schools in three or four different future scenarios and vigorously plan what needs to be done to survive and thrive in each one. This is a dynamic process that needs to be revisited and updated as reality changes.

Online is the ‘new normal’. Besides continuously providing up-to-date valuable information on the AISA COVID-19 Support Portal, AISA continues to innovate to ensure world-class virtual online Professional Learning is available through AISA’s strategic partnerships and AISA’s programmes including hosting of webinars and online retreats focusing on Governance and Leadership Learning. An excellent example is the ”Virtual” School Board Retreat facilitated by Rick Detwiler, Teresa Arpin, and David Chojnacki, three internationally-renowned experts who know the region, know our schools and are very experienced in Governance Learning with Board Members. For more information about this retreat and to participate, click here.

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