This year’s Back to School time is like no other!
Amidst excitement of a new school year; students, teachers and parents are faced with unique challenges as they get ready to adjust to the ‘new normal’ in education and cope with learning losses due to prolonged school closures caused by COVID-19. Underprivileged children are far more vulnerable to the impact of this crisis.
According to Save the Children Report 2020, Pakistan is one of 12 countries ‘at extreme risk’ of increased school dropouts due to COVID-19.
Children may be forced to work as their families fall deeper into poverty. Girls, in particular, might never return to school.
As TCF prepares for re-opening schools in September, our principals and teachers across Pakistan are actively in touch with parents to ensure that all our children return to their schools safely.
Help TCF bring underprivileged children back to school and keep their dreams alive!
Sustain the TCF Movement
TCF is global movement born 25 years ago as a result of a collective belief that education transforms lives!
TCF teachers are the backbone of our system and play a fundamental role in shaping the future of our children. Therefore, it is essential that we support them so that they can help children transition back into schools and return to learning.
In March, with no end in sight to COVID-19 crisis, TCF took the decision of not cutting salaries or laying off its teacher because TCF is a people-first organization and believes that its principals and teachers are part of the bigger TCF family driven to bring change.
Why is it essential to retain our teachers?
They have the most critical role to play in helping children transition back into schools and return to learning as schools reopen.
Most of them come from low-income backgrounds and provide financial support to their families.
They make a robust team of 12,554 ‘trained’ staff members who work in the most challenging areas of the country.
Engage TCF Students at Home
TCF’s Distance Learning & Support Program
TCF students have little or no access to digital resources such as computers or internet but TCF is still striving hard to keep its students connected and engaged.
Therefore, TCF is trying to stay connected with more than 266,000 students and their families through a variety of viable distance learning methods amid school closures. These include:
TCF Tele-School Initiative
TCF is producing a TV show for children called ‘Ilm Ka Aangan’ in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education in Pakistan and PTV Teleschool.
The program is structured around an ECE (early childhood education) model that TCF follows in its classrooms. Each episode contains theme-based videos, activities, a storytelling session by renowned actor Sania Saeed, a physical exercise segment and much more. You can also watch these episodes on TCF’s YouTube channel.
The TCF team is also designing and delivering an edutainment magazine “Ilm ka Aangan” for Primary and Secondary students on a bi-weekly basis. These magazines include activities that aim to develop students, literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional skills. Every two weeks, TCF students collect new copies of the magazine from their schools and drop off the completed ones for teachers’ feedback. A total of 10 issues of the magazine are planned till September 2020.
Reopen Schools Safely
As schools are reopening, TCF is working diligently to ensure that its school operations are aligned with public health and safety guidelines on COVID-19. Schools are being reopened in a staggered fashion in line with government directive. On September 15, 2020 TCF welcomed its 9th and 10th Grade students back to their schools across Pakistan. All other grade levels opened up for students on September 28, 2020 in most parts of the country. For the safety of our staff and students, TCF has developed and enforced extensive guidelines in four areas:
We have developed our school reopening guidelines in 4 key areas:
Social Distancing | Cleaning & Hygiene | Monitoring Health | Educating Communities
- Reducing the class size
- Discontinuing assemblies
- Keeping students 2 meters apart
- Limiting student interaction
- In-class recess
- Closing school canteens and discourage students from sharing food
Cleaning & Hygiene
- Encouraging students to wash hands frequently
- Cleaning floors and surfaces time and again
- Deep cleaning of schools if needed
- Daily temperature checks
- Immediate removal of students who show symptoms
- Prioritizing community engagement to address concerns
- Sharing clear messaging for COVID-19 prevention and control in schools
Support TCF Community
TCF students, teachers and their families have been impacted by COVID-19 in multiple ways. It is critical that we are mindful of their emotional wellbeing once we reopen and help them transition. We will foster resilience through:
- Embedding Opportunities for Student Development & Wellbeing
- Regular Staff Circles
- A Robust School-Community Relationship
- An Enabling Policy Environment
Embedded Opportunities for Student Development & Well-being
The beginning and end of each day will be dedicated to open conversation and reflection, allowing students to voice and share their thoughts, feelings and concerns.
Structured 40-min periods are also being introduced throughout the week in TCF classrooms focused on improving the physical and mental wellbeing of our students.
Regular Staff Circles
Staff circles will be conducted to encourage discussion, providing a collaborative space for social and emotional peer support, problem solving and self-care.
TCF staff will actively engage with parents, encouraging them to ensure continuity in the child’s learning journey.
An Enabling Policy Environment
We’ll give our staff more clarity of policy matters, reducing the burden of routine responsibilities so that they can focus on bridging the learning gap and on the child’s wellbeing.