Westlake Primary Principal gives leadership perspective on managing Covid-19
19 August 2020
Westlake Primary School Principal and 2019 National Teaching Award winner for Excellence in Primary School Leadership, Landeka Diamond, was one of the presenters of a live webinar about Covid-19 as “an opportunity for change”.
The webinar was hosted by the British Council South Africa and shared the experiences of teachers and school leaders from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Kenya.
Diamond’s presentation was titled “A solution driven approach in managing Covid-19 at school”. She said the school management had to embrace change and put systems and structures in place to safely reopen its doors to staff and learners. Safety and health protocols were strictly adhered to.
Diamond said the pandemic redefined the roles of all parties:
- As principal - she had to embed Covid-19 management within the practical management of the school.
- The school management team – had their role changed due to the administrative complexities that came with the pandemic.
- Learners - had to take extra responsibility to do school work at home.
- Parents – (of especially younger learners) had to engage with the curriculum to assist their children with learning at home.
Westlake Primary was one of the first schools to start feeding during lockdown, ensuring that their learners received a cooked meal daily.
After some of the restrictions were eased, the school provided food parcels to parents and supplemented it with hot meals.
Diamond said schools had to strike a balance between onsite and home teaching and learning to ensure that children’s learning opportunity is maximised. “We need to understand as education managers that the purpose of the school’s existence remains the same. We must not lose sight of the school’s vision because of the pandemic.”
She said it was quite normal for teachers to feel anxious and that it was important to be emotionally strong and mature to deal with Covid-19 to prevent getting consumed by anxiety.
Diamond concluded by saying that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
A recording of the webinar is available at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/BritishCouncilSouthAfrica/videos/750215195737537/
Follow Landeka Diamond on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/landiediamondify/videos