COVID-19 has affected all our lives and will continue to do so for some time even as governments relax confinement restrictions. As schools reopen, education systems and school administrators are putting in place measures to protect the physical health and safety of students, staff and families, and planning for the learning and wellbeing of students. With uncertainty about timeframes, the impact of the physical distancing and restricted or part-time attendance at school by students, educators continue to face significant challenges that will require them to adapt and learn. Despite these demands, a ‘new normal’ provides many opportunities to improve practices and ‘build back better’. To be most effective, educators will need to be attuned to their own wellbeing needs, provide the psychosocial and emotional support that may be required by students (and colleagues) following this crisis, engage students, address learning gaps and reignite the joy of being at school.
The Aga Khan Foundation and the Aga Khan Education Services have curated a list of practical tips and activities to support the relationships, wellbeing and learning of students as they return to school during COVID-19. This new guide should be reviewed, contextualised and used, bearing in mind the responsibility of the educator to observe all precautions to protect the health and safety of students, other staff and themselves.