Broadleaf Covid update - August 2020

Broadleaf Hosts School Community Workshops to Support Reopening. As India and Darjeeling begin to reopen, our communities have considered how to or if to open school.

In June, the Darjeeling region began considering how and when to reopen schools. Rumors circulated that schools might open as early as mid-June. Government-owned and operated schools were provided with some guidance on what reopening schools might look like. Low-cost private schools remained in the dark as to any type of a plan for reopening. 

In Broadleaf’s partner communities, a majority of primary school aged attend low-cost private schools. These schools are typically owned by someone who has a plot of land in the community and are often built by people from within the community to better serve the children who live there. The principals and teachers at these schools have often completed some form of higher education, but usually not in the field of education. These schools are built on a passion and dedication to learning.

As COVID-19 continued to bring uncertainty to Broadleaf’s partner communities, our Darjeeling based team recognized a need for support at the school community level. Together, with all of our stakeholders and team members, we developed a Principal Workshop and a Teacher Workshop, which were both facilitated through Zoom in late-June.

The Principal Workshop brought dedicated low-cost private school principals together to discuss logistics and concerns around reopening. Together with guidance and facilitation from our team, the group of principals began developing safe and effective plans for reopening their individual schools.

The Teacher Workshop focused on supporting teachers in developing clear and accurate messaging around COVID to help dispel misinformation within their communities. The workshop also spent time addressing the social emotional needs of children and families who have been living through these uncertain times. Teachers were eager to better understand ways to practically address student needs once they return to their classrooms. In addition to the workshops, teachers were also provided with a series of 18 lessons designed for the Darjeeling-context. Teachers were encouraged to teach the lessons in their communities and in their classrooms once school reopens.

Due to the success of the Principal Workshop and the Teacher Workshop, Broadleaf and DLRP, our Darjeeling-based partner, are in the process of fleshing out the details for a partnership with the local government. Together with the government, we plan to support school communities across the Darjeeling region with ongoing workshops.

Like the rest of the world, Darjeeling is slowly reopening. However, schools remain closed. Dates for reopening schools continually shift as the situation is constantly evolving. While there are many aspects of life that are unpredictable right now, Broadleaf strives to maintain strong partnerships with our communities. Thank you for your continued dedication to our partner communities in the Darjeeling region.


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