The stats don’t look good. But the school must remain an ivory tower. That’s such a difficult thing to accomplish as we have to toe the lines between preparing students for the reality of the current economic and security milieu and also protecting them from it. Here are some strategies for schools to navigate these murky waters.
Teach Information Literacy Skills
Your students will be exposed to a lot of fake news, hate speeches, rumours and even blatant lies. The task of the school is to help students filter this information. Students should be educated on how to form opinions properly, research the facts to substantiate an idea and learn to value other people’s opinions.
Some strategies to achieve this is to
- Host debates on trending issues
- Award marks for asking good questions
- Punish any form of intolerance as soon as they are exhibited
- Encourage freedom of opinion in the classroom
- Teachers should always attempt to not only identify the correct answers but also explain what makes the answers correct.
- Include research projects in your school’s scheme of work.
- Teach students how to identify an authoritative source.
Engage Your Local Community
The immediate environment your school is located matters a lot. There should be a free flow of information between your school and major security stakeholders around you. Always analyse the events taking place around the school to identify the security implication for your school.
For instance, you can decide that schools should not open on certain days if you are briefed of an impending attack in a nearby area.
Some strategies to engage your community include.
- Arrange a routine patrol between your school and local security agencies
- Request for daily security briefing from the police and other agencies around you.
- Have security hotlines that can be contacted if the need arises. Make these contacts available to every member of the school community.
- Appoint a security expert on your school board or into the leadership of the parent-teachers association.
- Develop a clear policy for checking in and checking out students. And ensure that they are enforced.
Require Background Check during Admissions or Employments
Security considerations should be made when admitting a new student into the school or employing new staff. You may need to check for any history of violence, affiliation to groups that could pose a concern or evidence of bigotry, fanaticism or any form of extremism.
Some strategies to apply when do
- References check
- Criminal records check.
- Address history check.
- DSS terror watch list check.
- Social security validation.
- Employment history
- Academic history
- Social media posts
Blend Physical and Digital Activities
Teaching and learning activities should be carried out both online and onsite. You don’t need to wait till there is a school closure before sorting out video conferencing, digitised homework or learning platforms. The more you digitise your school operations, the more dynamic your schools.
I will recommend the easy to use Gradely learning management system for schools. It is specially built for blended learning as it allows you to engage students in and out of the school. In addition to several other advanced features, you can use Gradely
- Schedule live video classes in few clicks
- Record live video sessions so they can be re-watched
- Share text, videos and images with students
- Upload lesson note to the class
- Start a discussion or hold class-wide discussions
- Save all teaching resources to the class library
Co-founder & Head of Growth of Nigeria's first adaptive learning platform - Gradely.NG Oluwaseyi Adelaju is an entrepreneur focussed on opportunities where technology has the potential to transform education. Seyi holds a masters degree in School Media from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
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