Dear Parents and Guardians,
Firstly, I am aware that most parents are better informed about UA then sometimes people like us who are with the students 24 X 7. It is because unlike other schools, UA has given your child some regulated time to use their mobile to connect to their loved ones – parents and family members. Also, UA boarding students before the lock down enjoyed the OiE OiE outings (Re: Attachment 1).
Yet, as we continue to navigate through the storms of COVID-19 pandemic, I am writing today to ease your worry as much as possible given all media around the Corona virus. As you know, providing a healthy and safe campus environment has always been a priority and now has become the topmost priority for Ugyen Academy. Thus, we have remodeled our entire Human Resource Structure and Terms of References to suit the needs of the New Normal. In a post-covid-19 education system, we have no choice but to bring our attention to providing the best possible health services in the school campus; choosing from the best, we have instituted the UA Health and Medical Support Services Team (HMSST). Today, we take pride as a school in our HMSST’s ability to safely address most of the health problems inside the school campus, thereby minimizing exposure to diseases and reducing movement in these challenging and changing times.
Our next priority will obviously be our children’s academics; arguably some could consider it even as the most important and that is perfectly fine. Anyway, everyone is aware that we are all rolling out the Education in Emergency (EiE), EiE Adapted Curriculum (UA Classes VII, VIIIs, IXs, and XIs - all three streams) and EiE Prioritized Curriculum (UA Classes Xs and XIIs - all three streams) developed by our Ministry of Education and the Royal Education Council. Given the pandemic, none of this is easy and much of it is out of our control, so I ask for your understanding and constructive comments as I share the following information about the two:
EiE Adapted Curriculum (UA Classes VII, VIIIs, IXs, and XIs (all three streams) :
Firstly, we are happy to share that, our proprietor is investing in upgrading our ICT facilities. Next, our Distance Learning Solutions Support Services Team (DLSSST) is strengthened; it is now a new Department in the New Normal. DLSSST has been able to have intranet facilities inside our campus and this makes access and delivery of e-Lessons quick and friendly without having to worry about data cost. DLSSST is also initiating webinars; group chats and live streaming as alternatives to in-person gatherings. Meanwhile, for the students, the teachers have been conducting Google classes as per the guidelines provided for delivery. Besides, UA adopted its own customized approach, “My Students, My Responsibility - MSMR” a pledge driven method to maximize the quality virtual connection between the subject teacher and his/her students (Re: Attachment 2- MSMR 10).
As evident, from the MSMR 10, the teacher is supposed to have had the best possible delivery of the EiE Adapted Curriculum in the Google Classroom/online class. The School Administration (SAT) is very happy with almost all the teachers’ efficacy in Google Classrooms/online classes - as per the reports (MSMR 1 – MSMR 10) submitted on a fortnightly basis. However, we understand that all our parents may not be happy with teachers handling the subject(s) for your child/children. In case, if a teacher has failed, then, do let SAT know in the email provided. We will follow up to see that your child/children is/are taken care of immediately in that/those subjects. Monitoring teachers in the virtual world is a very complex task but SAT is trying its best; it where parents can inform us as you know better how the child is being engaged in the Google classroom by each subject teacher.
EiE Prioritized Curriculum (UA Classes Xs and XIIs (all three streams):
Except for the students repeating in class XIIs, our coverage is very good for all classes (across all three streams) as we did not lose time in the beginning and nor did we lose much time in-between. We had made sure to invest more time during closure (Google classes) to non-technical subjects (mainly languages) as it was quite friendly for online classes. Hence, the moment we got to go face to face instruction, our priority has been on the technical subject (mainly mathematics, accountancy, economics, and sciences). Even with the disruption now, we are following up with serious remediation exercises to ensure that our students achieve the best – as always. Further, we are already into the blended approach with formal instruction in online mode – Google classroom. This is to guarantee that the day students are not missed out and that the teachers who reside outside the school campus are able to virtually reach to all his/her students. Therefore, please do not worry, UA teachers have the ability to strategically plan and implement even in difficult times or in this New Normal.
UA Students’ Engagement Activities during COVid-19 Nationwide Lock down:
With the nation under lock down, many parents may be interested to know how we are engaging our students. Definitely, anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and isolation are factors in the COVID-crisis. Research has indicated that these have become more prevalent. Hence, all of us have to think more carefully about building a sense of community and human contact through this challenging and changing times-we must be #inthistogether. Yes, there is a risk that by focusing on academics only or for that matter keeping them indoors most of the time; we could forget that wellness needs to come first. While checking in with students to make sure that they are coping is important, allowing students to connect with one another in activities that help them to build emotionally is the new mantra for excellence in the New Normal. Thus, to provide the much needed pastoral care and support our students' engagement in co-curricular and extracurricular activities is taken to be a collective responsibility (Re: Attachment 3 - UA Students’ Engagement Activities during CoVid-19 Nationwide Lockdown).
We will continue to adapt and adopt innovative practices to keep all our students meaningfully engaged. Come what may, UA will ensure that your child’s/children’s education will not be compromised but raised. Thank you for your continued support and for entrusting the safety of your children to us.
Lopen Norbu Gyaltshen