Viewing Crises as Opportunities
In the wake of the global crisis caused by COVID-19, the world has faced not only unprecedented healthcare and economic challenges but also huge educational shifts. In Singapore, teachers had to rethink and redesign the ways they deliver their lessons when the government implemented the national Circuit Breaker measures that resulted in the full closure of every school for a period of one month.
Despite the challenges that many teachers and school leaders are confronted with during the sudden transition from physical classrooms to one that is fully virtual, it is heartening to see our professional teaching community lending support to one another. The crisis also further reinforces the important role that families play in enabling the child’s learning at home; to a great extent, parents become the main purveyor of the child’s education.
With much changes and innovations occurring during one of the bleakest periods in history, what would education be like as the world recovers from the pandemic? To have an answer to that, we take a few steps back and look at what a few schools in Singapore have done for their students during the Circuit Breaker period and a virtual environment one NIE researcher has designed for students to better understand the importance of social distancing in this issue of SingTeach that focuses on the theme “Lessons from a Pandemic: What Have We Learnt?”.
More importantly, this issue also hopes to highlight the importance of educating for the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, the challenges that could come with embracing technology and why we should view crises as opportunities rather than challenges. To this end, we hope the new year will bring us more confidence in believing and doing the best for teaching and learning as we further embrace the new norms that 2020 has created.
SingTeach Editorial Team
Office of Education Research