17 September 2020
Dear Parents and Students,
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed,” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9.
Apostle Paul used the treasure in the pot to describe Jesus Christ living in us and with us. We are a vessel that carries the glory of God. The power of God is revealed through our lives. Therefore, when we encounter distress, disappointment or crisis, don't be afraid. Just rely on God and believe in God, because God lives in us. Obstacles can trap us and frighten us, but God is almighty and can give us the strength to face challenges, encounter difficulties with a positive attitude and eventually become witnesses of God who enlighten those who are in the dark.
In 2020, we experienced 3 new coronavirus attacks. When the second epidemic appeared to be dying down in May, the government started to relax gathering restrictions and implemented the resumption of work and face to face classes in schools. However, the third wave of the epidemic hit us and classes were immediately suspended. These changes in the way we live our lives may well be the "new normal". Under the new normal, schools have gradually developed a blended learning model to cope with both online (asynchronous or/and synchronous) and face-to-face contact time between teachers and students. Students should learn to be flexible and be able to adapt in order to build and shape their own learning style.
With the above in mind, it is important to note that students are now staying at home for longer periods of time. During online learning, students need to double their attention in class. Their 3R skills, i.e. Reflection, Responsibility, and Respect are needed more than ever. Otherwise, they will find it difficult to concentrate on learning, feel fatigue, become demotivated, and become discouraged. In addition, the temptation of the Internet can easily bring about addiction, including indulging in online games and discussions. This makes it harder for students to arouse interest in rich text learning materials, which enhance their academic achievement, motivation, curiosity and communication skills. Internet addiction can also weaken their social skills, alienate interpersonal and family relationships, and create conflict.
Throughout these times of rapid change, we surrender to God, who understands the shortcomings of human beings. We have to humble ourselves to ask God to make us complete and give us wisdom so that the school can lead effectively in areas such as curriculum planning, the adjustment of teaching strategies, the reorganization and division of labor, the preparation of teaching materials, and the designing of suitable learning experiences and assessment methods, so as to continue to offer a rich learning experience to students and make better preparations for education in the new normal.
When facing the changes that blended learning brings, it can be difficult for students to adapt. In the face of internal worries about relationships and academics, as well as the external worries of internet abuse and family economics, students must hold on to God’s teachings firmly because God lives in us. Be faithful to our God who must transform us, and lead our lives gradually from darkness to see the light.
The first stage of class resumption began on September 16, and S6 students showed their maturity in following the school’s guidelines tightly to ensure everything ran smoothly. We are looking forward to the second stage on September 23 (for S1 and S5 classes) and the third stage on September 29 (for S2 to S4 classes) also being carried out smoothly. May God bless the school in the resumption of classes to give us a safe and orderly environment so that students can regain their joy of learning at the Pooi To campus.