Key Opportunities for School Leaders in a Post-Pandemic Era

What are the key opportunities for school leaders in a post-pandemic era?

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key opportunities for school leaders

Covid 19 affected the world’s educational system and caused educational institutions to close down for an extended period of time. The impact was so severe that even post-pandemic many affordable private school leaders failed to sustain and had to shut down their schools, many are on the verge of closing, and many of them are striving to revive and function smoothly.

This happened because during the pandemic school leaders lacked the resources and infrastructure, lacked sufficient and efficient faculty, struggled to provide online learning support to their students, lacked parental engagement, and student migration to government schools or in between dropouts and affordable schools overburdened with the financial loss due to pending fees and other liabilities to be taken care of.

According to a study by UNICEF. School leaders need to actively seek solutions to deal with and overcome these challenges. It’s about perspective, “Every problem or challenge comes up with new opportunities and possibilities.”

This article is about the opportunities that are available for school leaders – whether they are running affordable private schools or big institutions, in the post-pandemic era. Schools are open now with all mandatory precautions and parents are also sending their children to school.

Before looking for opportunities school leaders have to evaluate themselves, what they have lacked in the pandemic, what needs to be focused on, and what needs to be changed.

Let’s see below what opportunities can be there for school leaders in the post-pandemic era.

Increasing admissions:

During the pandemic, schools faced challenges in holding their admissions and stopping children from migrating, because of which schools lost their student strength and found themselves in a financial crisis. But it’s time to gear up and get back on track. Schools are fully functional now, and leaders should use this opportunity to focus on increasing admissions through various marketing strategies both online and offline.

Use of the internet has increased in rural and urban areas as compared to pre-pandemic times. This means reaching the maximum target customer base through online platforms is easier than before, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and data analytics company KANTAR. 

The online admission process and school websites in a regional language make parents in remote areas approachable. Different approaches, like customised market research for understanding the needs of the parents and students, customising fee structure according to the paying capacity of the parents, and parent engagement to understand parents and students better, will help school leaders to attract more enrolments to their schools.

An increase in enrollment rates will generate revenue for the school, which will help decrease the financial burden of the school and also improve the infrastructure and quality of education.

Remedial teaching and bridge courses for bridging the learning gap:

Any school is recognised in society for the quality of its education. Unfortunately, the pandemic affects schools’ ability to provide quality education to students. School leaders can implement remedial teaching and bridge courses to cover the learning gap.

A student has a learning gap when there is a discrepancy between what they have learned and what they were expected to know by a certain grade or during a specific subject.

Because of the pandemic, many students are not able to cope with the current curriculum, especially those who lack the resources where online studies are not working successfully and are struggling more in their basic foundational skills, in February-March 2021, ASER, India’s definitive status-of-education report, found.

What can we do to close the gap, then? The best option for pupils who are having trouble with their foundational skills is remedial instruction. Students should be given access to this as soon as possible because, without it, it would be challenging for them to comprehend the topics covered in their current classes.

The few instances of remedial teaching and learning include extra practice, employing chart paper for education, and peer-to-peer learning. Basic foundational skills can be strengthened in offline and online bridge courses by helping students comprehend topics from earlier grades and how they apply to the present grades. Progress can also be assessed. 

Also Read: 5 simple methods to navigate new paths for growth in a post-pandemic world

 

Enhancing teaching skills:

Covid 19 shows us how life transitions to a new normal and how a traditional teaching and learning method abruptly shifts to technology-based teaching and learning. We were not prepared for these changes, but we learned and trained for various online platform uses so that we can continue the learning process.

However, due to a lack of resources, technical difficulties during online learning, and less interaction during online classes, it is difficult to maintain web room behaviour. Apart from all these, there is a huge learning loss among students.

To recover from the learning loss, school leaders need to enhance the ability of the teachers by supporting them with the latest teaching aids, tools, and pedagogies. Even national education policy aims to empower teachers, which would be helpful in nation-building.

Parent engagement for holistic development of students:

Unfortunately, during the pandemic period, parents encountered many obstacles in supporting their children in their academic and behaviour development due to a lack of resources, other obligations to satisfy, or difficulty using technology.

Parent engagement is defined as the school and home working together to improve the child’s overall development. School administrators should get in touch with parents to encourage them to spend more time with their kids. Children’s cognitive, socioemotional, and physical development will benefit from this as these factors are connected to higher academic performance, better student behaviour, and better mental and physical health.

Strategic groundwork for future emergencies:

During the lockdown, schools were not prepared for the sudden teaching changes from physical to technology-based. Learning from past experiences, schools should prepare in advance for any uncertainty about the closure, so that no consequences will impact on teaching staff and student’s learning (UNICEF).

Covid has changed the individual demand behaviour which is now leaning more towards value based selection rather than premium. This means now School leaders have more opportunities to make their schools attractive by adding more value to their school. Working on teaching skills, focusing on quality education, and providing a safe environment and infrastructure will be more useful in growing the school in a successful manner.

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