By Tolu Aiyegbusi
The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), FCT chapter, has begun capacity building for no fewer than 300 of its members following planned reopening of school.
The virtual training and workshop series scheduled to hold throughout July is aimed at empowering the members on schools re-opening strategies in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme of the four-part series is: ”Re-opening: Insight series for NAPPS FCT schools”.
The training is held on the meeting app, Zoom webinar.
Mrs Olusola Bankole, the President of the chapter, said on Saturday during the webinar that the training was part of the association’s social responsibility.
She added that it was in support of the Federal Government’s plan to reopen schools, which were closed in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the series of virtual training and workshops on schools reopening would take every aspect of health and safety into consideration.
”Other aspects of the webinar seminar are business continuity sessions and finance discussions peculiar to schools in FCT and the country in general,” she said.
Bankole said that over 300 schools registered for the first part of the series, with additional representation from school proprietors from Enugu, Nasarawa, Niger and Kaduna states.
”Apart from that, we also have over 100 public school principals and teachers from across the country in attendance.
”The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), FCT Chapter, wants to get her member-schools set for resumption.
”The executives had earlier initiated a series of thought-provoking and honest sessions, and the fallout of all that is the structured Zoom webinars.
”The health training contents are part of the guidelines intended for schools, it conforms to the standards of WHO and NCDC, and a team of experts are supporting,” she said.
Dr Bukola Dosunmu, a healthcare expert, said at the event that there was the need for schools to make their resumption plans to suit their peculiar structures.
She advised that each school should take its staff number and space capacity into consideration.
Mrs Ifechukwu Ezeani, a finance expert, urged participants to go back to the drawing board and come up with a needs assessment and incident management team.
She said that adopting new plans in the face of the pandemic would help in adaptability and smooth running of schools as a business entity.
Similarly, Coach Sam Obafemi, a behavioural change expert, urged school proprietors to set aside sentiments and switch to survival mode.
He said that all schools should set long-term goals that would take into consideration survival methods in spite of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
”I would also advise school owners to suspend activities such as cultural and social events and strategise on ways they can minimise expenses.
”Schools should maximise disruptive technology, adopt best digital formats such as meeting physically twice a week and making the most of online or recorded classes,” he said.
A UK-based information technology expert, Mr Roland Sodeinde, noted that the older generation of learners were digital immigrants while the new generation were digital natives.
He called on all the participants to maximise the use of free online resources to improve teaching and learning.
In her remarks, Mrs Samira Jibir, the Proprietor of Glisten International School, Jahi, Abuja, advised that everyone should pay attention to his or her psychological well-being.
She said that the association would explore profitable partnerships and work on getting palliatives for member-teachers.
She added that government rules on reopening of schools should be adhered to, urging that physical visits to schools should be minimised.
NAN reports that the association had supported the schools reopening plan of the Federal government during the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
No fewer than 300 persons comprising members of NAPPS from FCT, Enugu, Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna chapters, as well as principals and teachers in public schools participated in the online meeting.(NAN)