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Response of some of our educational communities to the Covid crisis

R eventWednesday, 14 April 2021

CHALLENGE: HOW TO LIVE THE PASTORAL DURING THE CONFINEMENT!

With the lockdown, the teaching teams worked to provide online courses as well as pedagogical follow-up with the classroom as well as other tools proposed by the teachers.

As a School Pastoral Care Assistant (APS), the question for me was to be part of the pastoral proposal without overburdening the students and families who were already very busy with distance learning in the main subjects. Therefore, I was looking for a way to be able to propose without constraining and above all trying to reach everyone where they were in this troubled period.

By sharing with other APS in the Assumption network, I discovered the Padlet tool, which perfectly offered this modularity. I therefore launched into the construction of a padlet starting with Holy Week, proposing a sharing of texts, videos, colouring... in order to provide several “entry doors”. The students and their families were informed by email as well as by the correspondence tool between the school and the families. https://padlet.com/pastorale13/Bookmarks

Afterwards I continued to try to expand more and more with various proposals. I have grouped them together with other pastoral resources so that everyone can find something for them (movies, press articles, live video, prayers ...).

Following the positive feedback from the teams of teachers and students and on the basis of this experience, I have launched, for this new school year, the creation of other palettes, including one on interiority (which will be shared bythe school’s pastoral team in the first instance), one for confirmation (shared with the school’s pastoral team), one for future confirmands) and one for the Profession of Faith.

Anne Catherine Miot

Deputy school pastoral

ASSOMPTION ORLÉANS – FRANCE

 

THE COVID INVITES US TO LIVE IN SOLIDARITY

“Every day God invites us to take a step further” (ME, Intimates Notes n°154/06)

Moreover, this step in the Asunción Vallecas School is called SOLIDARITY.

Located in one of the neighbourhoods most contaminated by the pandemic, and where many vulnerable families live, the solidarity response of the Educational Community has made it possible for life to be stronger than death and for difficulties to be overcome, thanks to the unity and dedication of all.

The lack of space in the school to comply with the rules of distancing, have been overcome by the generosity of some neighbour friends who allowed us to open for free what was once a family business and was now closed.

The computers have appeared through the generous sharing of parents, friends and teachers so that no student must live without the necessary communication for their studies.

The generosity of the management team and the support of all the teachers has facilitated changes in schedules, facilities and methodologies, managing to transform what seemed impossible, making the presence of the Covid to develop more strongly the solidarity in the heart of each person.

The basic needs of food, housing, electricity, water...of the most vulnerable families have been assumed by the “Covid fund” created by the teachers on a voluntary and anonymous basis. The uniforms, the jogging suit, and the books have been obtained through a network of family exchanges in which some took and others brought what they could share.

The Covid has made our family spirit present, in an atmosphere of simplicity and friendship that is in itself formative. It is our way of making His Kingdom come (Manila International Gathering).

FROM ASUNCION-VALLECAS SCHOOL- SPAIN

IN THE HEALTH CRISIS HAS BEEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO FUEL OUR PASSION AND CREATIVITY.

In the midst of uncertainty, the economic and health crisis, we are starting this school year in virtual mode. It has definitely not been easy to continue with this mode of school work, the only one authorised from March until today.

One of the main challenges has been to learn to be close despite the distance. In order to bond and be present to the children, the idea of visiting each family, with all the security measures, came up. We take the wrapped school materials home, as a gift from the institution, through their teacher.

It was a wonderful experience, the families were surprised to see us. The time that had passed had made us miss each other very much, so being close for a few moments was memorable, we had tears of joy, unstoppable smiles and the joy of being able to see each other once again.

The meeting was invaluable and gave us hope that these times are only temporary and that we will soon be able to embrace each other again.

« None of our efforts should be the last, and that zeal, no less than the divine love from which it comes, can never say : it is enough.» (ME, Counsels on education, n°1511, 1842).

BERNIE ESPIN, Preschool pedagogical coordination

QUERÉTARO (MEXICO)

EXPERIENCE IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REGION

Some of the challenges generated by the pandemic:

Primarily, continuing to support learners effectively with ICT to deliver online courses, and the creation of the student forum on WhatsApp. Another challenge has been to maintain the payment of staff salaries in order to ensure social balance and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.

However, we can also mention some of the blessings caused by the pandemic:

What we note is the great solidarity of all the educational partners (parents, directors, administrative service, educators, teachers and students) in order to favour the supervision of the students. The pandemic has allowed us to become more aware of the fragility of everyone and the need to mobilise everyone for the health security of all by respecting the barrier measures against Covid-19. Throughout these months, we have been able to observe the strengthening of the links between the members of the educational team. Finally and perhaps most importantly, the strengthening of faith: a large part of the population has put its trust in God who, alone, is able to protect us and who protects us effectively. There has also been an increase in prayer in the family and in social networks.

MPIKO HIGH SCHOOL IN KINSHASA (DRC)

ASSOMPTION POLYVALENT COLLEGE IN BAFOUSSAM (CAMEROON)

 

LOVING GREETINGS FROM INDIA!

Covid-19 pandemics brought us closer to God, to one another and to nature. Though it was and is a frustrating experience, we have faced it creatively. On 17/18th March 2020 schools were closed down all over India according to the government order in the wake of spread of the Corona virus. So, the academic year 2019-20 came to an end abruptly. Online classes for the students were started during the 1st phase of lock down all over India. It was successful in Kerala but in other states, it was too difficult to reach out to students who were from interior villages.

We share two experiences with you: the first in one of our three schools (Thelpara), and the second where our sisters teach in one of the diocesan schools (Piriaponch).Assumption Public School in Thelpara, Antonykkad

During holidays on-line audio, video classes were given to the students from Class I-VII. In June we started Class VIII. Along with on-line Classes, we have conducted different competitions on different occasions –speech competition, Patriotic Song, Quiz Competition, Reading Day: June 19th, Independence Day: August15th, Onam Celebration: August28th, Teachers Day on Sept.5th etc. We are happy about the active participation of the students, especially the students of the lower classes.

Piriaponch is a diocesan school.

During the month of June, we started open air classes in the villages due to lack of network connection. But as the migrant workers started coming back to their villages from red zone areas, we had to stop open air classes in the villages. Every month, we go from village to village with rice packets and money to distribute to children since we are not giving them midday meal in the school. Though it is lock down, school office is opened every day. Since there is no sign of opening the school, again we started open air classes in the villages.

Sr Susan Varghese

INDE

A HOPEFUL VISION

The quarantine period, during the time of the pandemic due to the new Coronavirus, made us, as Assumption College, revisit the counsel of our Foundress St. Marie Eugene of Jesus, as she herself said: “Let us always keep the spirit that reigned among us in our beginnings: cordiality, simplicity, kindness.” (ME, Instr. Of august 8th, 1884)

This is how the Asunción family sought to serve our students, who from one hour to the next were deprived of their school life; the cordiality and tenderness already so present in our daily lives became part of the online relationship that was established with the families of our school. Sisters, Directors, coordinators and teachers, first of all, sought to be God’s loving gaze, personalized for every need that arose during this difficult time. The classes became much more than a moment of transmission of content. They also became the place of welcome, dialogue and the practice of love.

Our students were able to rethink their life project, bringing new values into it, so we can see that the vision has changed; now the family, the other and one’s own faith are present in a much stronger way in each one’s reflection.

We tried to strengthen family bonds and family prayer in all our activities; it was like this in all the moments and activities designed by our teachers.

But, of course, the highlight of this time in our College was the “Quintal do Assunção”; a morning where we shared all the experiences and activities carried out in this unique moment of social isolation.

Teachers Cristina Augusta and Ricardo Sebold

Religious Teaching Team

COLÉGIO ASSUNÇÃO, SÃO PAULO - BRAZIL